from the composer
Donia Jarrar (b. 1986, Kuwait City) is an Arab-American composer-pianist, improviser, producer and interdisciplinary artist. Born to a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother, she grew up between Kuwait City, Alexandria, Ramallah, and New York. Her personal experiences have strongly shaped her compositional voice, leading her to explore themes of intergenerational memory, trauma, identity, exile, displacement, and cultural narrative in her work.
Jarrar is a composer-librettist member of Decameron Opera Coalition, which was recently awarded a Freddie Excellence in Opera award by NY Public Radio/WQXR. Her concert aria, produced and commissioned by Houston’s Opera in the Heights, was described as “weaving a spell of surreal mystery around a woman on the edge”. Jarrar was recently awarded the 2019 Discovery Grant for Female Composers from the National Opera Center of America for her work Seamstress, a documentary multimedia opera based on oral history interviews conducted with Palestinian women and girls from her community. She has been commissioned by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and is a featured musician on the Emmy-award winning series Arab American Stories.
Jarrar releases experimental music under the solo moniker Phonodelica, with her debut album Hidden Assemblages listed as a best-selling contemporary classical album on Bandcamp, alongside Nils Frahm’s Encores 1. Her album single “Bodies” was also featured on four Spotify editorial playlists.
Jarrar holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. She is based in Los Angeles.