Iranian-Canadian composer Parisa Sabet creates a sonic world that is rich, layered, lyrical, and accessible to listeners. She draws from both the drama and the commonplace in her personal experiences to integrate unique elements of Eastern and Western musical languages, incorporating varied timbral and instrumental effects. Her repertory ranges from solo pieces to orchestral works, as well as sound design and original film scores. Since 2015, she divides her time between full-time freelance composer at night, and full-time mother by day—a new lifestyle that informs the gift of breakthrough in her compositions. Since June 2019, Parisa serves as the Board of Directors at Aurora Cultural Centre.
Parisa completed her bachelor of music degree in composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University and her master’s degree in composition at the University of Toronto. She studied composition with Keith Tedman, Kyong Mee Choi, Ka Nin Chan, and Stacy Garrop. She has completed her DMA in composition at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Christos Hatzis.
Parisa is a recipient of several grants, awards and scholarships including the 2017 Theodoros Mirkopoulos Fellowship in Composition, as well as Ontario Arts Council Project Grant, 2016 Irene R. Miller and Anoush Khoshkish Fellowship in Music, the 2015 Ann H Atkinson Prize in Composition, the 2014-2015 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and the John Weinzweig Graduating Scholarship. She was also a recipient of a 2013-2014 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Graduate Scholarship, focusing her research on the indigenous music by women in her native Iran, and wrote an original composition related to this theme. In addition, she was the 2018 K.M. Hunter Artist Award finalist.
Professionally, her compositions have won various competitions and have been performed in different venues in North America. Sabet’s solo alto flute piece, Nay Nava, won the 2011 Timothy Munro (eighth blackbird’s flutist) Solo Flute Competition in conjunction with the CCPA composition program. In addition, Nawruz for wind ensemble was selected for the 2011 Chicago College of Performing Art’s Wind Ensemble Composition Contest and has been broadcast several times on Chicago’s Classical and Folk Music Radio (98.7 WFMT). Her choral composition, Universal Brotherhood, was selected by MacMillan Singers to be performed at their Contemporary Showcase Concert in 2014. Her recent song cycle, Dance in Your Blood, based on three Rumi poems won the Top Prize place at the Violet Archer Composer’s Prize 2014 and is published in the Plangere Canadian Composers Series.
She has scored several documentaries centered on stories of Iranians who have been persecuted, exiled and migrated due to their beliefs including From Baku to Belmont and Layegheh directed by Rashin Fahandej. The most recent, Dust-Flower-Flame, about the Iranian poet Tahirih Qurratul-Ayn, a female poet in 19th century Iran, has been screened all around the world, including at Stanford University, University of Maryland, The Regent Street Cinema, UCLA, SVA Theatre New York, Toronto, Yale University, Concordia University, Le Nouvel Odéon, Laemmle Music Hall.
Aside from composing, Parisa has been collaborating with several Farsi-speaking media productions such as PMP, PBMS and Radio Zamaneh.