Hooshyar Khayam (b. 1978, Bedford) is an Iranian-British musician. He is active as a composer, conductor, pianist, producer, and educator.
Khayam’s music blends influences of styles and music of extreme sources into a new merged musical composition.
Khayam is the son of the Iranian writer Masoud Khayam, and painter Pariyoush Ganji.
He grew up in Tehran at the time of the Iran-Iraq War, lasting for eight years, which caused his family to take multiple evacuations and short-time migrations in his early years.
Between the years 1981 and 1989 “Music” in total – and with it, every genre of music except the Revolutionary Songs – was banned in Iran and considered a sin and an act against the rules of Islam. Music was taught underground. The cease of the War in 1989 and the “Fatwa” on the toleration of music were essential in his musical education.
Finalist of the “Queen Elisabeth International Composition Competition (2013), first prize award winner of “Franz Schubert and Modern Music International Composition Competition (2011), finalist of the Mauricio Kagel International Composition Competition (2013); and selected “Top of the World Albums” by Songlines (2011, 2020).
His music has been performed by Kronos Quartet, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi Strings, Nilper Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Université de Montréal, Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra, and such individual artists as Stephen Prutsman, Artur Avanesov, Hossein Alizadeh, Anja Lechner, Aram Talalyan, Todd Palmer, Szofia Boros, Golfam Khayam, Mona Matbou Riahi, Elina Bertina, Wayne Foster-Smith, Eva-Christina Schonweiss, Kirsten Ecke, Burghard Toelke, Klara Ausserhuber, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Morrison Trio, Shahrzad Ensemble, among others.
His music has been performed at NPR Tiny Desk, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival, BOZAR Theater Brussels, Guggenheim, MOMA, Stefanie Saal Graz, Konzertverein Ingolstadt, Vortex Jazz London, Steinway Society San Francisco, Kremlin Palace Music Hall, University of Cambridge, University of London, and in various concerts and performances in such cities as Moscow, Tbilisi, Kyiv, Riga, London, Berlin, New York, Charleston, Florence, Graz, Linz, London, Yerevan, Montreal, Ottawa, and Tehran.
Prior to establishing his own label, Khayam worked with Hermes Records alongside a few other publications on solo and collaborative albums. Khayam founded his own label “Tehran Records” in 2015 to produce and promote the contemporary music of Iran. The label worked actively between the years 2015 to 2020, introducing works of recording artists, composers, and improvisation artists, and it collaborated with painters, visual artists, graphic designers, sculptors, photographers, poets, and literary men and women. The label seized its activity after the shooting of the Ukrainian passenger Flight 752 on January 8, 2020. The last publication of Tehran Records was a single track ‘’NOOR’’ (Persian for ‘’Light’’) by Soheil Mokhberi and Hooshyar Khayam accompanied by a video by Dariush Gorgvand, that was released as a lament to the 176 passengers who lost their lives on that flight.
Khayam has studied at Université de Montreal, University of Cincinnati, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, Trinity College London, and Arts University Tehran.
Khayam moved to Canada in 2020 and is currently working as an Artist in Residence at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.