"New sounds from a largely unknown world"
Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin
Hailed as a “Virtuoso” and "Intensely Soulful" by the New York Times and “Spellbinding" and “Brilliant” by the New Yorker, and "Incredibly Rich Sound" by the CBC. His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as clarinetist and composer.
Kinan has been touring the world as soloist, composer and improviser. Notable appearances include: Carnegie Hall and the UN's general assembly, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow and the Damascus opera house for its opening concert in his native Syria.
He has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra among others.; and has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Marcel Khalife, Aynur, Daniel Barenboim, John McLaughlin and Jivan Gasparian.
He has composed for solo, orchestra, chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics. Resent commissions include works for the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony , Saint Paul Chamber Orhcetsra as well as recording original music for Bob Wilson’s recent production of Oedipus Rex. He leads his Arabic/Jazz quartet the Kinan Azmeh CityBand and his Hewar Ensemble and serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017.
Kinan's recent commissions include works for the New York Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a clarinet concerto for the Seattle Symphony,
Kinan is a graduate of New York's Juilliard school as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.