Akram Haddad is a composer and piano player born in February 8th, 1986 in Shafa’mer (near Nazareth north Israel). His interest in music began at the age of 5 when I started to practice classical piano at the Rubin Conservatory in Haifa at the insistence of his father, Rahib Haddad, a prominent choir conductor. his passion for music was accompanied by an immediate ambition to succeed.
Music held a prominent place in our household; over the years, he honed his performance and technical skills, accompanying dance classes and choirs at his father’s school; and as a young adult, he accompanied the Sawa and Gallili choirs he conducted at concerts in Spain, France and throughout Israel and Palestine.. Learning to “follow” the singers during rehearsals and performances - finding the appropriate key and incorporating classical music with traditional Arab music that called for more improvisation - his role in arranging and adapting the choir’s content grew alongside his performance experience.
Akram have always loved engaging in improvisation, or the “live composition” of concerts— allowing the "feeling" or dynamic of rehearsals and performances to influence him, and then returning to the studio to develop original compositions, playing and creating different motifs and rhythms to capture the essence of my response.
Each of his professional opportunities have facilitated the development of his musical and compositional skill, moving me from one stage to another in his personal and professional development; these include (but are not limited to): the first choral composition that he wrote, “Psalm 121”, for ActorCor of NYC, performed by the Berlin Quintet in Germany and Israel and the Zamir Choir of Boston; as well as my work as the arranger and conductor for the Fairouzina Project, where he rearranged, reharmonized and conducted Fairouz songs for 26 players and the singer Lina Makhoul— a project of incredible scope and interest.
Opening his eyes to new perspectives and possibilities, international experiences have also contributed greatly to his development; for example, while in NY he had the pleasure of studying with Dr. David T. Little, who introduced him to western modern art through myriad concerts and exhibitions, while providing essential exposure to the requisite tools for translating his thoughts into scores, focusing on essentials such as rhythm, scoring, orchestration and composition. Further insight and training came through his pursuit of academic study where he had the great privilege to learn under the mentorship of Arik Shapira for three years, introducing him to the wonder of electronic music while influencing my understanding of how to build an idea and develop it in new, innovative ways.
More recently, he have been teaching at academic institutions throughout Israel, including Haifa University, the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and Kiryat Ono College of Music, implementing the pedagogy of Arik Shapira; teaching provides unparalleled insight into his own approach to music and composition.
One particular project that is dear to his heart is the Solamot Project, in cooperation with the Israeli Philharmonic: since 2013 he have worked with eight blind piano students at the Karm Al Saheb school for special needs; learning Braille musical scoring in order to be able to teach these special students how to read and play the piano, he opened up new connections between humanity and music for myself and others.
The ambition and passion of the blind children in the project amazes me each and every time anew, giving him fresh energy and excitement as he experience the boundless potential of music to heal and strengthen. For him, music is a way of life. Throughout a lifetime of routine practice and demanding creativity, he have come to realize that music is an integral part of his identity.