Clarinetist and Composer
2017 Performer

Brooklyn, New York

Kinan Azmeh’s utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as clarinetist and composer. He has been hailed as a “virtuoso” and “intensely soulful” by the New York Times and “spellbinding” by The New Yorker

Azmeh tours the world as soloist, composer and improviser. Notable appearances include Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall, New York City; the Royal Albert Hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Mozarteum, Salzburg; and the Damascus Opera House for its opening concert in his native Syria. He has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Marcel Khalife, Aynur, and Daniel Barenboim, among others.

Azmeh’s compositions include works for solo, orchestra and chamber music, as well as film, live illustration and electronics. His discography includes three albums with his ensemble Hewar, several soundtracks for film and dance, and an album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet.

Azmeh is artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble. He is a frequent guest faculty at Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble that was awarded a Grammy in 2017.

Azmeh  is a graduate of New York City's Juilliard School and of both the Damascus High Institute of Music and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering in his native Syria. He earned his doctorate in music from the City University of New York in 2013.