Iman Habibi, D.M.A. (University of Michigan), is an Iranian-Canadian composer and pianist, and a founding member of the piano duo ensemble, Piano Pinnacle.
Hailed as “a giant in talent” (the Penticton Herald) Iman has been commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, Prince George Symphony Orchestra and The Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and has collaborated with noted ensembles and performers such as The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Ann Arbor Camerata, musica intima, The Standing Wave Ensemble, The Aventa Ensemble, The Calidore String Quartet, JACK Quartet, The Chiara Quartet, Del Sol String Quartet, The Emily Carr String Quartet, The Vancouver Bach Choir, DaCapo Chamber Choir, conductors Bramwell Tovey, Jerry Blackstone, Eugene Rogers, Leonard Enns, Marta McCarthy, Leslie Dala, Anthony Elliott, Bruce Pullan, pianist Jane Coop, and soprano Simone Osborne among many others.
Dr. Habibi’s music and performances have been programmed by The Carnegie Hall and The Marilyn Horne Foundation (New York), The Canadian Opera Company and Tapestry Opera (Toronto), New York Festival of Song, Vox Novus (New York), Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the BCScene Festival (Ottawa), and the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver), among others.
He has received numerous awards including First Prize at the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Audio Visual Composers for two consecutive years (2011-2012), The International Composers’ Award at the Esoterics’ POLYPHONOS (2012), The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for Emerging Artist in Music (2011), Brehm Prize in Choral Music (2016), as well as numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and BC Arts Council. He also received second prize at the 2008 Vancouver Bach Choir’s national Competition for Large Choir Works for his work “Erroneous Kudos,” and first prize for his work “Black Riders” at the 2009 Guelph Chamber Choir’s national competition. His music and interviews are broadcast regularly and have been heard on CBC radio one, CBC radio two (Canada), NPR, South Carolina Public Radio, and WQXR (United States).
His portfolio of compositions include dozens of commissions for orchestra, choir, chambers ensembles, soloists, and film. Dr. Habibi earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of professors Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, and Bright Sheng, and his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of British Columbia under the instruction of Dorothy Chang, Jeffrey Ryan, Stephen Chatman, and Sara Davis Buechner. He has also pursued private studies with the piano duos of Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham in Vancouver, and Tal and Groethuysen in Munich. Iman Habibi is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, and is represented by SOCAN in Canada.
As a pianist, Iman’s recent appearances included a performance of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as the premiere of Iman’s concerto for two pianos and orchestra, Amesha Spenta, with Ann Arbor Camerata. He has performed his own Piano Concerto with the Atlantic Music Festival and The Prince George Symphony Orchestras, and has also performed with Dearborn Symphony, and Dexter Community Orchestras, among others. Iman was a finalist at the Inaugural Knigge National Piano Competition, and is well-known for his collaborations with pianist Deborah Grimmett. The two pianists formed a duo in 2010, which won first prize at the United States International Duo Piano Competition, and second prize at the North West International Piano Ensemble Competition, and has twice attained the audience choice award at the latter.
Bio by Iman Habibi; photo by Darko Sikman