Saad Haddad | Photo by Dennis Christians

Saad Haddad | Photo by Dennis Christians

2017 Prizewinner Chosen!

The winner of our 2017 Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize was Saad Haddad of Northridge, California. Born in 1992, he is a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electroacoustic music who achieves a “remarkable fusion of idioms” (New York Times), most notably in his work exploring the disparate qualities inherent in Western art music and Middle Eastern musical tradition. His music delves into that relationship by transferring the performance techniques of traditional Arabic instruments to Western symphonic instruments, while extending their capabilities through the advancement of technology. 

The 2016–17 season featured the premiere of a new work by Haddad for the Albany Symphony, the premiere of the orchestral version of Takht by the Sioux City Symphony, the premiere of Dohree by the Debussy Trio, the west coast premiere performances of Takht by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, as well as subscription performances of Manarah by the Princeton Symphony and Columbus Symphony, among others. During the season, Haddad will be in residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Ucross Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Studios of Key West, the Soundstreams Composer Workshop, and the Luzerne Music Center.

Highlights of Haddad's 2015–16 season included the premiere performances of three orchestral works: Manarah by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Kaman Fantasy by the Milwaukee Symphony and Columbus Symphony, and Takht by the New Juilliard Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall. Other premieres included Nekavim, for two digitally processed percussionists and dance, Thulathi, for piano trio, and Shifting Sands (version for trumpet and electronics). 

Recent distinctions include the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the S&R Foundation Washington Award Grand Prize, the Jerome Fund for New Music grant from the American Composers Forum, the Palmer Dixon Award from the Juilliard School, the Aaron Copland Residency Award, and multiple awards from ASCAP, BMI, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. His orchestral works have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Albany Symphony, Princeton Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. 

Born in Georgia and raised in California, Haddad holds degrees in composition from the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California, where his principal teachers included John Corigliano, Mari Kimura, Bruce Broughton, Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke, and Donald Crockett. His music is published exclusively by Dib Press. –

(updated March 2017)

Special Thanks to our 2017 Brandeis and guest adjudicators!

Yu-Hui Chang, Brandeis University
Eric Chasalow, Brandeis University
David Rakowski, Brandeis University
Kurt Rohde, 2013 Prizewinner
Steven Snowden, 2015 Prizewinne