About

— Meet the composer —

Photo credit: Zeinab Mawassi

Wajdi Abou Diab is a composer of classical contemporary music, musicologist, educator, and conductor who believes in music as a way to build our cultural future while keeping us connected to our cultural history.


Biography

Born in Lebanon in 1991, Wajdi Samir Abou Diab graduated from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music (LNHCM) with a diploma in Piano in 2014 (with Sevag Derghougassian and Janna Popkova), then in Music Composition in 2016 (with Elia Koussa and Joelle Khoury (composition), Jad Riashi (Harmony, counterpoint, and analysis), and Jamal Boul-Hosn (electronic music)), and he is currently pursuing his masters in the musicology of tradition at Antonine University.

As a composer, Wajdi’s music exhibits an echo of the Arabic Mashriq musical history, in a modern language that imitates the contemporary unbalanced world, reflecting the contradictions, beauty, and brutality within it. And it searches as well for inspiration in the elements of Arabic music such as Maqamat, rhythms, and Taqassim, as well as in classical Arabic language and rhythms of poetry, which results in a unique Contemporary Oriental music language.

This language resulted in receiving numerous honoraria for some of his compositions such as the FIRST PRIZE in the 2022 Emerging Composer Competition by Rising Tide press and the International Women Brass Conference 2022 for his piece “Folk Story” for Brass quintet, Special MENTION from The Gaetano Giani Luporini prize 2022 for his chamber opera “The Dream”, an HONORABLE MENTION for his piece “Al Mouraba’ Dance” for solo viola after he participated in the Gardner Music Composition Competition 2022, by the American Viola Society, HONORABLE MENTION and the SPECIAL PRIZE BY CLUSTER at the LIMF 2020 Composition Competition for his piece  “Cry from the frozen pole”, and a CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION for his composition “The Youngest” from “Cergy Pontoise orchestra-studio” after his participation in the “12th International Meeting of Young Composers” in Cergy Pontoise. In addition to selecting his music for numerous CALLS FOR SCORE such as “Deterritorializing the Realm of New Music”, by Anoush Moazzeni and Canadian music center, for his piece “TAFA’IL” for prepared piano and tape, the call for score by American flutist Dustin White’sproject (album “Ri Ra”) for his piece “THE AWISS DANCE” for solo bass flute, David Bohn’s call for score music 15 minutes of fame for his piece “Dabket El 2020“, and for his piece “A dinner with the death” for toy piano (2022), and Cypress concert band call for score for his piece “the Unsquar suite”. In an addition to being chosen for two RESIDENCY PROGRAMS by the CCF and Unesco as part of the NAFAS-ACCR program, which result in a one-month residency in the Cite Musicale De Metz (March 2022), and one month in the Cite Musicale De L’abbaye Aux Dames De Sainte (April 2022), both in France.

As an Arranger/Orchestrator, Wajdi plays a leading role in introducing Arabic music to non-Arabic musicians, and audiences and his arrangements link the two cultures of western and oriental music, as in his two books of music, “ARABIC FOLK TUNES“, and “LONGA AND SAMA’I” with piano accompaniment, that are designed to introduce pianists and classical musicians to Arabic music, in addition to several orchestral arrangements of Arabic folk tunes, popular and classical songs, and traditional and classical Arabic instrumental music, which was performed in Arabic and non-Arabic countries, resulting in many tributes to the greatest musicians of the Arabs’ world, as Zaki Nassif, Wadih El Safi, Wadih Sabra, Om Kolthoum, Abed El Wahab and many others.

As an artistic director and conductor, Wajdi pushed his ensembles and orchestras to follow his high musical standards by giving equal importance to musicality, technique, discipline, and repertoire. After Founding the Beirut Contemporary Ensemble, Choueifat Band and Choir (CBCLEB), and Orchestra Al Mokhaym, Wajdi’s experience in working with ensembles covered all types of musicians from Professionals to beginners, with a wide repertoire from classical to contemporary music, passing by Arabic Folks, World music and film music.

Wajdi believes in music as a powerful tool to engage with society, and following his beliefs, he launched several initiatives focusing on providing solutions for music education, and creating more opportunities for youth musicians, as a way to change society through music. Initiatives such as FREE MUSIC EDUCATION FOR ALL, and THE LEBANESE LIVING COMPOSER’S CHANEL. And this resulted in gaining the trust and support of many patrons who believed in his projects and goals and awarded him several grants such as the FREEMUSE mini-grant, CULTURAL RESSOURCES exceptional grant, and support of the GOETHE institute, the CPML, the CCF, and others.

Wajdi’s belief in the effectiveness of music in spreading human values and its role in the mental and physical growth of children and adolescents guided him to the music education field. His experience as a piano, music formation, and harmony teacher for more than 8 years in the LEBANESE HIGHER CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC, and as a music teacher in several schools such as HARIRI and TAHADDI schools in Lebanon, guided him to discover the many music pedagogies as Kodaly, Orf, Suzuki and other. Wajdi applied these methods in his classes of music theory, choir, and musical formation, which allowed him to develop his teaching philosophy and techniques in both individual and group classes. He also published several papers such as “A guide to the Arabic music”, “the scale and arpeggios” for piano in two volumes, “Warm-up chorales” for orchestra, “Traditional Arabic Rhythms”, and many articles in local magazines such as An-Nidaa, and on his own blog.

His passion for music, his dedication, and his fast learning capability pushed him to study and work in different technological fields such as music technology, music production, video editing, Photoshop, recording, mixing, mastering, music notation, and more, which polished his experience as a self-music producer and publisher.

On the other hand, Wajdi considers collaborations an open continuing opportunity to share his experiences, and to benefit from others’ experiences, which resulted in many projects with international groups, organizations, and artists, such as choreographer and performer “Preeti Vasudevan”, the Taipei Civic Symphony Orchestra and Tunisia 88 Honors Choir, Oudist Abbass Kassamany (Lebanon), pianist Kaiyin Huang (Taiwan), the White Snake Project (New York), Music For Identity (Germany), The San Jose Lullaby Project (San Jose), Forum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte Transnational (Germany), Italian- Lebanese pianist Ramzi Hakim, Seba Ali (Egypt), Amr Selim (Egypt)… Wajdi’s collaboration also includes long-term participation in the World Music Conference (international, based in the UK) as a music ambassador for his country Lebanon.

Wajdi was Chosen as Global Youth Ambassador representing Lebanon at World Music Conference (2021 and 2022), and he is as well an active member of the ACAN network, the MILLENNIUM COMPOSERS INITIATIVE, Boston music imitative, and the SMCPL.

Education

THE LEBANESE HIGHER CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC – Lebanon – License in music composition (Elia koussa / Joelle Khoury)

THE LEBANESE HIGHER CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC – Lebanon – Music Technology course (with Jamal Bou l Hosn)

THE LEBANESE HIGHER CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC – Lebanon – License in piano performance (with Sevag Derkaghosian / Janna Popkova)

CNAM UNIVERSITY – LEBANON – Master in Civil engineering

ANTONINE UNIVERSITY – Lebanon – License in Musicology with focus on “musique de tradition”

THE LEBANESE HIGHER CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC – Lebanon – student in bassoon performance

Courses and workshops

PUCCINI International Opera Composition Course By “Cluster – Compositori interpreti del presente”, with the patronage of “MIUR – Ufficio Scolastico IX di Lucca e Massa Carrara”, and in collaboration with “Fondazione Franco Zeffirelli”, “Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca”, “Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca”, “Teatro del Giglio di Lucca”, “EMA Vinci Produzioni discografiche, editoriali ed artistiche”

Fundamentals of Rehearsing Music Ensemble By The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Evan Feldman) via coursera

Introduction to Classical Music (Craig Wright) By Yale University via coursera

Adventures in Classical Music – Music Appreciation for All By William Neely via Udemy

Become a Master Conductor – Leading Musicians Made Simple By MusicProfessor Online Music Lessons via Udemy

Orchestration By Jonathan Peters via Udemy

Music Production II – Music Production Workflow – COMPLETE By Mitch Houston via Udemy

Orchestration 1: Compose Orchestral Music for Strings By Karleen Heong via Udemy

Orchestral conducting masterclasses with Maestro Mariano Abello (Yes Academy 2019/ 2021), Maestro Carlos Botero (Yes Academy 2020), and Maestro Edward Kawakami (Yes Academy 2022)

Two contemporary music composition workshops with French composer “Benjamin Gilbert” and Lebanese composer “ Joelle Khoury” in April 2015 and 2016, respectively, in Beirut

Prizes and grants

“Special mention” from The Gaetano Giani Luporini prize for his chamber opera “The Dream” (2022)

Winner of the 2022 Emerging Composer Competition by Rising Tide press and the International Women Brass Conference 2022 for his piece “Folk Story” for Brass quintet

“HONORABLE MENTION” for his piece “Al Mouraba’ Dance” for solo viola after his participation in the Gardner music Composition Competition 2022, by the American Viola Society

Winner of the small changes grant from the FREEMUSE for his project “Free Music Education For All” – (2021 – 2022)

Winner of the exceptional grant from the Culture Resource in collaboration with poet Zanoubia Zaher for his song cycle album “Da’watou Mawten ‘ila l ‘asha’ “- (2020 – 2021)

“HONORABLE MENTION” and the “SPECIAL PRIZE BY CLUSTER” (Alternate) for his piece “Cry from a frozen pole” for Baritone, piano, violin, viola, and cello, on a poem by Shadi Sawwan, after the participation in the LIMF Composition Competition 2020

Winner of the Ear composition competition – New York for his piece “Folk suite” for strings orchestra (2018 – 2019)

Appreciation certificate from “Cergy Pontoise orchestre-studio” after his participation representing the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music in the event “12eme rencontre internationale des Jeunes compositeurs” in Cergy Pontoise (2013)

Selected for the call for score for West Asian Composers, “Deterritorializing the Realm of New Music”, by  Anoush Moazzeni and the Canadian Music Center (CMC Ontario), for his piece “TAFA’IL” for prepared piano and tape (2020 – 2021)

Selected for the call for score by David Bohn project (“20 Seconds of 2020”) for his piece “DABKET EL 2020” for solo Clavinet (2020 – 2021)

Selected for the call for score by Dustin White project (“Ri Ra” album) for his piece “THE AWISS DANCE” for solo Bass Flute (2020 – 2021)

Selected for the 2019 – 2020 Cypress Symphonic Band Call for Scores for his piece “The Unsquare Suite” for Concert Band (2018 – 2019)

List of works

ORCHESTRA

« FOUR ARABIC SKTECHES » – Opus 32 – For beginner’s ensemble (four-parts flexible part) (2022) (9’) listen
« WILADA, FA KIFAH » – Opus 9 – for French horn and orchestra (2020) (20’)
« WORKER’S MARCH » – Opus 5 – for Orchestra (2019) (13’30) listen
« KAMANJA » – Opus 6 – For violin and strings orchestra (2018) (6’)
« ORIENTAL SKETCHES » – Opus 2 – for orchestra (2017) (8’) listen

ENSEMBLE

« ARAB-BORESCENT SYMMETRY » – Opus 29 – for Flute, Oboe, and Clarinet in Bb (2022) (7’30) listen
« FOLK STORY » – Opus 28 – Suite for brass quintet (2022) (8’30) listen
« THE DREAM » – Opus 24 – Chamber Opera for 2 abroad sextet (2021) (35’) listen
« ARABIC HETEREPHONY » – Opus 27 – For string quartet (2021) (13′)
« A CRY FROM THE FROZEN POLE » – Opus 14 – For baritone, violin, viola, and cello (2020) (5′) listen
« SAMA’I WAJDI » – Opus 22 – For Flute and Piano (2020) (5′) listen
« BEL ARFRAH » – Opus 11B – Trio for French Horn, piano, and violin (2020) (4’10) listen
« YA HNAYENA » – Opus 11A – Trio for French Horn, piano, and violin (2019) (5’35) listen
« A TUNE FOR AMER’S HORN » – Opus 10 – Trio for Horn, piano, and double Bass (2019) (8’30) listen
« THE UNSQUARE SUITE » – Opus 7 – Suite for Wind Orchestra (2018) (14’)
« SARCASTIC SERENADE FOR STRINGS » – Opus 4 – for strings orchestra (2017) (15’)
« DANCE OF TIME » For flute, clarinet in Bb, vibraphone, violin, viola, and cello (2016) (6’) listen
« AZFAN MONFARIDAN » For baritone, piano, flute, alto sax, viola and cello (2014) (8’15) listen
« YA QDAMI MGHABARA » For violin, viola, cello, double bass, and tabla (2014) (2’)
« NEUTRALISATION » For piano and violin (2013) (7’) listen
« LE PLUS JEUNE » For soprano, flute, clarinet in Bb, piano, and cello (2013) (7’35) listen
« BALI MA’ AK » For Piano and violin (2013) (3’20) listen

SOLO

« SIX VARIATIONS IN THE ARABIC STYLE » – Opus 30 – For solo French Horn (2022) (8’30)
« DINNED WITH THE DEATH » – Opus 20 – For Toy Piano (2022) (1′) listen
« PRIERE ORIENTALE » – Opus 13G – For solo pipe organ (2022) (10′) listen
« THE SAMA’I AQSAQ DANCE » – Opus 13E – For solo microtonal trumpet (2022) (8′)
« SIKAH DANCE » – Opus 23 – For solo flute (2021) (1’00) listen
« THE MOURABA’ DANCE » – Opus 13C – For solo Viola (2021) (7’30) listen
« DABKET EL 2020 » – Opus 17 – short dance for solo instrument (2020) (0’30) listen
« THE KHOSH RANK DANCE » – Opus 13B – For solo Cello (2020) (9’30) listen
« THE AWISS DANCE » – Opus 13A – For solo Bass flute (2020) (7’00) listen
« MAJNOUN LAYLA » – Opus 12 – suite for piano and optional Req (2020) (16’) listen
« ORIENTAL SKETCHES » – Opus 2 – suite for piano (2017) (14’)
« TAQASSIM » – Opus 1 – suite for recorder’s family and harpsichord (2015) (17’) listen
« PENDIATONISM » for solo piano (2014) (2’20)
« RESONANCE » for guitar solo (2013) (2’)

VOCAL

« A NAP-BY-THE-BEACH KIND OF GUY » – Opus 26 – for Tenor and piano, text by the daughters of Mohammad Jawed (2022) (3’30)
« DA’WATOU MAWTEN ‘ILA L ‘ASHAA’ » – Opus 18 – 6 lieder for female voice and piano, text by Zanoubia Zaher (2021) (27′) listen
« TWO LEIDER » – Opus 3 – for Mezzo and piano, text by Zeinab Mawassi & W. Abou Diab (2014) (11’) listen

ELECTRONICS

« TAFA’IL » – Opus 21 – For prepared piano and Tape (2020) (8’15) listen
« WILD PAETZOLD » – Opus 8 – for Contrabass recorder and tape (2019) (12’46) listen
« OOF MEN BEIRUT » electro-acoustic (2017) (8’03) listen
« PALESTINIEN » electro-acoustique (2016) (1’19)

MUSIC FOR MOVIES, DANCE, AND STORIES

« THE STORY OF SAFIYAS’ HOUSE » dance music for choreographer and performer “Preeti Vasudevan” based on storytelling by elderly Lebanese (2020) – (6’40) listen
« THE STORY OF MOHAMMAD NAJIB EL-SEIN » dance music for choreographer and performer “Preeti Vasudevan” based on storytelling by elderly Lebanese (2020) – (5’10) listen
« THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE HADDAD FARHAT » dance music for choreographer and performer “Preeti Vasudevan” based on storytelling by elderly Lebanese (2020) – (6’10) listen

BOOKS

« ARABIC FOLK TUNES » – Opus 16 – For Solo Piano (2020) listen
« LONGA AND SAMA’I WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT » – Opus 15 –  (2019) listen
« SCALES AND ARPEGGIOS » – for piano – volume 1 & 2 (2018)

ALBUMS

« DA’WATOU MAWTEN ‘ILA L ‘ASHAA’ » – Opus 18 – 6 lieder for female voice and piano (2021) (27′)
« SAMME’NA SHI MNA’ERFOU » 16 tracks album for solo piano with Pianist Ramzi Hakim (2021) (45’)
« DANCES FOR AN ASSYMMETRICAL WORLD » include opus 1 to 4 and two bonus tracks (2019) (66’)
« IRTIHAL » 10 tracks album with Abbas Kassamany (2016) (47’)
« 7IJAZZ » 8 tracks album with Fer’it 3a notta (2015) (35’)

ARRANGEMENTS

« Arabic Suite» 4 arrangements for wind duos and Orchestra – (2021) (8′)
« A TRIBUTE TO ZAKI NASSIF» 15 arrangements for “Zaki Nassif Orchestra and choir” – (2020) (55′)
« LEBANESE MEDLEY» a special arrangement for Taipei Civic Symphony Orchestra and Tunisia 88 Honors Choir – (2020) (8’) listen
« MA’ OUDI » For Oud and Oriental Orchestra – By Mazen Salha (2020) (6’) listen
« FIRST ANNUAL CONCERT » 16 arrangements for “The L.H.C.M. student’s orchestra” – (2020) (65′)
« INNER RHYME » 5 pieces for Violin, viola, and Strings orchestra – By Layale Chaker (2019) listen
« BEIRUT CONCERT » a special 14 arrangements for “Atfal Al Soumoud Kid’s Orchestra” – (2019) (55′)
« TWO LONGAS » for flute and jazz trio – By Riyad Al Sonbati and Adham Afandi (2018) (8’) listen
« MA BA’DA AL HOLM » For Oud and Oriental Orchestra – By Abbas Kassamany (2018) (7’) listen
« VARIATION ON BENT AL SHALABIYA » For Orchestra – By Nabil Jaafar (2018) (8’) listen
« QUITA » For Concert Band – By Micheal Labaki (2018) (3’20)
« LOAD » For Concert Band – By Micheal Labaki (2018) (4’05)
« 3 CLASSICAL ARABIC SONGS» arranged for the Lebanese oriental students’ orchestra (2017) (20′)
« OUBOUR » For Oud and Oriental Orchestra – By Abbas Kassamany (2017) (8’) listen
« DABKEH » For Orchestra – By Nabil Jaafar (2017) (2’) listen
« LIBER TANGO » for piano duet/ Strings orchestra – By Astor Piazzola (2017) (3’30)
« OUD FANTASIA » For Oud and Oriental Orchestra – By Abbas Kassamany (2016) (8’)

Many Arabic Songs and Classic Arabic music pieces were orchestrated for the philharmonic Orchestra, oriental orchestra, school bands, and different ensembles including strings orchestra, concert band, and chamber music as Quintet, Quartet, Trio, and Duo.

Press

30-5-2022| Mariam TV | وجدي ابوذياب | عالموعد
10-2-2022| وجدي أبو ذياب | احلى صباح | تلفزيون لبنان
13-6-2022| AL ARABI TV | وجدي ابوذياب | صباح جديد
6-4-2021 | MTV | Alive | وجدي ابوذياب
16-4-2021| Mariam TV | وجدي ابوذياب | عالموعد
31-3-2021 | OTV | وجدي ابوذياب | يوم جديد
12-5-2021| وجدي ابوذياب | احلى صباح | تلفزيون لبنان
29-3-2021| وجدي أبو ذياب | احلى صباح | تلفزيون لبنان
19 -1-2018 | وجدي أبو ذياب | احلى صباح | تلفزيون لبنان
6-8-2021 | MARIAM TV | وجدي ابوذياب | شنتال فرنسيس الصافي | عالموعد
7-8-2021 | MTV | Alive | وجدي ابوذياب | شنتال فرنسيس الصافي
حكيت الصورة عن مجنون ليلى لوجدي ابو ذياب – صوت كل لبنان

Agenda Culturel – Zeina Kayali – 12 December, 2021Wajdi Abou Diab et la creation d’un langage musical
Agenda Culturel – Zeina Kayali – 6 April, 2021Samme’na Chi Mnaa’rfou, nouvel album de Ramzi Hakim et Wajdi Abou Diab
La Gazzeta De Lucca – 4 June, 2022Si conclude il sesto ‘Puccini Chamber Opera Festival
Verde Azzurro Notizie – 19 May, 2022quarto appuntamento col Puccini Chamber Opera Festival
Al Arabi AL Jadeed – Ali Morali – 16 May, 2021السلم والمقام وصرخة من القطب المتجمّد
CIM Programming Advisory Committee and Resources – Sami SeifFive Emerging Lebanese Composers you should know
Al Modon – Khodor Hassan – 13 March, 2021سمّعنا شي منعرفه… هكذا صُنع ألبوم البيانو الشرقي افتراضياً
Bchoufk – Farah Hassanieh – 10 March, 2021صرخة من القطب المتجمد مقطوعة عربية للمؤلف وجدي أبوذياب تحصل على جائزة عالمية ورتبة شرف من ايطاليا
Bchoufk – Farah Hassanieh – 10 November 2020صفوف موسيقى عن بعد: مبادرة مجانية يطلقها المؤلف الموسيقي وجدي أبو ذياب
L’Orient Le Jour – Zeina Kayali – January 28, 2022Les compositeurs libanais de musique savante ont désormais leur plateforme numérique
Kawa News – January 21, 2022A digital platform for composers in Lebanon
AL Anbaa – March 10, 2021سمعنا شي منعرفوا ألبوم جديد للمؤلف الموسيقي وجدي ابو ذياب وعازف البيانو رمزي حكيم
L’Orient Le Jour – Zeina Kayali – June 21, 2022Les Musicales du Liban clôturent en beauté l’édition du printemps à Paris
L’Orient Le Jour – Zeina Kayali – June 6, 20224e édition des Musicales du Liban à Paris

Achievements Wall