Composer/Pianist

Photo by Bo Huang

Biography

Pouya Hamidi thrives on the magic of creating music in the moment, the miracle of collaboration, the mystery of sharing ineffable beauty with other musicians and audiences alike.

He was born in 1986 to the sound of sirens over Tehran during the Iran/Iraq war. As a boy he’d escape the city every Friday for hikes with his dad and brother.

At family gatherings his parents danced, guests played and sang. Pouya started piano lessons at 8 and was soon improvising at the keyboard. He filled notebooks with tunes about his family, the nearby mountains, even the glowing embers in the fireplace. He put on concerts in the living room, hand printing the programmes and adjusting the lights to create just the right atmosphere. He and his brother played air guitar and drums, accompanying Nirvana, Pink Floyd and Radiohead on mixtapes brought home from school.

When Pouya was 12, the Hamidis left friends and family behind in Tehran, looking for a better life in Toronto. 

When he arrived in Canada Pouya didn’t speak a word of English. He studied piano and composition, enrolled in the Taylor Academy at the Royal Conservatory and brought home trophies from the Kiwanis Festival and the Canadian Music Competition. 

He explored the splendours of the public library and borrowed recordings – everything from Beethoven symphonies to hits by Bjork – with insatiable curiosity.

He also discovered the joy of collaborating with other musicians, whether he was playing with garage bands in high school or leading a 12-person progressive rock group. Pouya, who stuttered as a child, found music was an invaluable means of making social connections.

While pursuing a double major in composition and piano at the University of Toronto, he wrote film scores for independent movies.

He also completed McGill’s Masters of Sound Recording Program in Montreal. He loves working in the recording studio – a kind of sacred space where the magic of technology and human imagination combine to capture music forever. He’s worked on dozens of recordings, including Juno-nominated albums, with musicians across the country.

Pouya co-founded the  Ladom Ensemble in 2007, a quartet of fellow students at U of T. He’s Ladom’s resident composer and pianist. Their playlist of original music fuses Persian and Western classical traditions, blended with Argentinian tango, Serbian folk dance, progressive rock. They’ve toured all across Canada and have released two albums.

He also co-founded ICOT, a group of Iranian-Canadian composers who developed over 40 new works, ranging from opera and ballet to orchestral and vocal pieces. His music has been performed throughout North America.

“I’m in awe,” he says, “of the power and wonder of music. Collaborating, composing, sharing the stage with fellow musicians, feeding off their energy – it’s heaven on earth.”

Written by Denise Ball.

List of Works

Title of CompositionInstrumentationLengthYear
HafezChoir (SATB), piano, daf05:00 min2021
Songwalks (Original Podcast Soundtrack)Piano, flute, harp, vibraphone, marimba, sound effects25:00 min2021
Ambient SongVoice, piano, cello, percussion09:00 min2021
Rumi’s FablesNarrator, piano, cello, accordion, hand percussions10:00 min2018
Notes of HopeSoprano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, trombone, french horn, synthesizer, tar, tombak, kamanche, daf, percussion15:00 min2018
The Walls Are Made of SongAccordion, piano, cello, hand percussions10:00 min2018
Sense of PlaceTwo B-flat Clarinets8:00 min2017
Recall the Eden (in collabration with ICOT)Voice, tombak, tar, and orchestra15:00 min2016
Three Reflections on EmpathyAccordion and String Quartet10:00 min2016
3 Short Songs for RPSM SongBookPiano and voice7:00 min2015
The Treaty of FriendshipWoodwind quintet and narration04:30 min.2015
Three InteractionsOrchestra with soprano and accordion08:00 min.2014
YouDance School CompositionPiano, tar, tombak, and daf03:00 min.2014
Five Tableaux from Khosrow and ShirinBallet with Symphony Orchestra02:30 min.2014
SparksLaptop Orchestra25:00 min.2014
GiftAccordion, piano, cello, and hand percussion6:00 min.2014
Arash the ArcherSoprano and orchestra10:00 min.2013
WaterTenor and string quartet7:00 min.2012
Journey Inward6 hands, one piano12:30 min.2011
Expansion – click here for the PDF score13-piece ensemble10:00 min.2009
Our NightViolin and tape03:18 min.2009
GorizAccordion, piano, cello, and percussion06:00 min.2009
Distant Earth – click here for the PDF scoreString quartet08:00 min.2008
NoorAccordion, piano, cello, and percussion06:00 min.2008
The Battle WithinPiano05:00 min.2007
AdagioPiano trio04:00 min.2006
RahaAccordion, piano, cello, and percussion05:50 min.2006
NafasWoodwind quintet05:00 min.2006
The PaintingPiano trio07:00 min.2005
Softly into the Night – Click here for the audioTenor saxophone, double bass, and piano04:30 min.2004
Sonata in g-sharp minorPiano07:30 min.2004
Sleeper in the ValleyBaritone and piano03:15 min.2004
Bagatelle No. 4 – click here for the audioPiano03:00 min.2003
Fantasy for Violin and Piano in D minorViolin and piano04:30 min.2003
Etude in A MajorPiano03:30 min.2003
When the Wind BlowsViola and piano06:30 min2003
G Major VariationsPiano04:00 min2000
Ballade No. 1Piano06:30 min.2000

List of Performances

DATE (YEAR/MM/DD)LOCATIONCOMPOSITIONCONCERT TITLEVENUE NAME
2022-08-15Prince Edward, ONRaha, Noor, Goriz, The Walls Are Made of SongLive at Journey’s FestivalThe Cape
2022-08-06 and 07Stratford, CanadaRaha, The Walls Are Made of SongStratford Music FestivalGallery Stratford and Bandshell
2022-06-25 and 26Halifax, NS, CanadaHafezUnturned Pages by Choirs by ChangeWolfville & Halifax
2022-04-02Mississippi Mills, ONRaha, Gift, NoorLive at AlmonteAlmonte Old Town Hall
2022-04-01Luskville, QCRaha, GiftLive at Pontiac EnchantePontiac Enchante
2021-11-17InternetHafezPortraits of Home by Amadeus ChoirVirtual
2021-08-01Ottawa, ON, CanadaRaha, GorizLadom Ensemble at Ottawa Chamberfest 2021Club SAW
2021-02-28InternetRaha, Ambient Song, GiftAgain (Dance film) – Presented by DanceworksVimeo (ticketed concert)
2020-10-11InternetRaha, Noor, GiftXienia Online ConcertFacebook Live
2020-07-28InternetThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorToronto Summer Music FestivalVimeo (ticketed concert)
2020-02-08Saint John, NB, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorLadom Ensemble Live in Saint JohnImperial Theatre
2020-02-06Fredericton, NB, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorLadom Ensemble Live in FrederictonThe Playhouse
2020-01-12Toronto, ON, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorPiano Fest: Ladom EnsembleBurdock Brewary
2019-11-26Toronto, ON, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorLadom Ensemble Noon Hour COC ConcertRichard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
2019-11-24Cornwall, ON, Canada’The Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorLadom EnsembleAultsville Theatre
2019-08-03Ottawa, ON, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorLadom EnsembleInternational Ottawa Chamber Festival
2019-08-03Ottawa, ON, CanadaRumi’s FablesInternational Ottawa Chamber FestivalLa Nouvelle Scène
2019-07-30Toronto, ON, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorToronto Summer Music FestivalHeliconian Club
2019-05-05Brockville, ON, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorLadom EnsembleSt. John’s United Church
2019-03-22 to 2019-04-16Quebec and New BrunswickThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorJeunesse Musicale Eastern Tour12 different venues
2019-01-20 to 2019-02-08Alberta and SaskatchewanThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorPrairie Debut Tour13 different venues
2019-01-16Toronto, ON, CanadaThe Walls Are Made of Song, GiftLadom Ensemble Album LaunchLula Lounge
2018/02/11 to 2018/03/11Toronto, ON, CanadaNotes of HopeNotes of HopeAgricola Lutheran Church
2018-09-29Toronto, ON, CanadaRumi’s FablesRumi’s FablesAga Khan Museum
2018-05-24Toronto, ON, CanadaThe Walls are Full of Song, GiftLadom EnsembleMassey College
2018-03-09 to 2018-04-03Five Eastern Canada ProvincesThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorDebut Atlantic Tour10 different venues
2018-01-24Toronto, ON, CanadaThree Reflections on EmpathyCMC Presents: Michael BridgeCanadian Music Centre
2017-08-11Ottawa, ON, CanadaRahaCAPACOA ConferenceCanada Convention Centre
2017-09-24 to 2017-10-25Ontario and QuebecThe Walls are Full of Songs, Gift, Raha, NoorJeunesse Musicale Tour12 different venues
2017-07-12Casalmaggiore, ItalyJourney InwardCanadasalmaggiore CasalmaggioreCasalmaggiore International Festival
2017-06-18Toronto, ON, CanadaRecall the EdenConcert for PeaceGeorge Weston Recital Hall
2017-04-24Toronto, ON, CanadaSense of PlaceNew Sounds from an Ancient LandGallery 345
2017-01-27Ottawa, ON, CanadaRecall the EdenConcert for PeaceDominion-Chalmers United Church
2016-07-24Ottawa, ON, CanadaNoor, Raha, Goriz, and GiftInternational Ottawa Chamber FestivalLa Nouvelle Scène
2016-05-24Toronto, ON, CanadaNoor, Raha, Goriz, and GiftLand of Four SeasonsCanada Centre for the Arts
2016-05-13Toronto, ON, Canada3 Short Songs commissioned by RPSM SchoolTHE REGENT PARK SONGBOOKTHE GARDINER MUSEUM
2016-02-19Toronto, ON, CanadaAdagioThe Thirtieth ActToronto Canada Centre for the Arts
2015-11-21Toronto, ON, CanadaNoor, Raha, Goriz, and GiftLadom Ensemble LiveSmall World Music Centre
2015-11-17Toronto, ON, CanadaA Treaty of FriendshipWhat’s in a FableLillian H. Smith Library
2015-10-17Oshawa, OntarioThree Reflections on EmpathyVirtuosity UnboundRegent Theatre
2015-07-29Montreal, QC, CanadaNoor, Raha, Goriz, and GiftLadom Ensemble on TourResonance Canadafe
2015-07-28Trois-Rivières, QCNoor, Raha, Goriz, and GiftLadom Ensemble on TourRichard Philibert
2015-07-24Toronto, ON, Canada3 Short Songs commissioned by RPSM School.Song Interpretation RecitalCanadian Music Centre
2015-07-17Toronto, ON, CanadaPouya’s Telescope ProjectElectronic Series at HandlebarHandlebar
2015-06-15Toronto, ON, CanadaJourney InwardCMC on the 13thCanadian Music Centre
2015-04-04Toronto, ON, CanadaNoor, Raha, Goriz, and GiftLadom EnsembleArray Space
2015-01-20 to 2015-02-24Toronto, ON, CanadaTar, Piano, Daf, and TombakYouDance School PerformancesBetty Oliphant Theatre
2015-01-25Toronto, ON, CanadaThe Treaty of FriendshipRussian FablesCanadian Music Centre
2014-12-05Toronto, ON, CanadaThree InteractionsSecret of SolsticeSt. George AngliCanadan Church
2014-05-24Toronto, ON, CanadaFive Tableaux from Khosrow and ShirinKhosrow and Shirin BalletP.C. Ho Theatre
2014-09-18Toronto, ON, CanadaGift, Raha, NoorLadom Ensemble Live at CMCCanadian Music Centre
2014-05-15Hamilton, ON, CanadaJourney InwardA Canadanadian MosaicChrist Church Canadathedral
2014-03-20Montreal, QC, CanadaSparksCLOrk into DarknessPhi Centre
2014-03-06Montreal, QC, CanadaSparksCLOrk into DarknessJohn Molson Building
2014-02-16Toronto, ON, CanadaGift, Raha, NoorLadom Ensemble CD ReleaseHugh’s Room
2013-07-18Toronto, ON, CanadaMan Marg Ra AriaOperatic Narration of Arash the ArcherWestjet Stage, Harbourfront Stage
2012-09-18Toronto, ON, CanadaWaterNew Poetry, New MusicSt. George AngliCanadan Church
2012-02-04Ottawa, ON, CanadaJourney InwardPersian Piano NightPerez Hall
2011-10-29Montreal, QC, CanadaJourney InwardPersian Piano NightL’eglise Saint- Jean- Baptiste
2011-10-15Waterloo, ON, CanadaJourney InwardPersian Piano NightConrad Grebel University College Chapel
2011-08-07Toronto, ON, CanadaJourney InwardPersian Piano NightHeliconian Club