Felix Jarrar "Walking past a window..." (2017)

Felix Jarrar "Walking past a window..." (2017)


Lyrics by Brittany Goodwin

for soprano and piano

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Composer-pianist Felix Jarrar won top awards as a teenager in regional piano competitions held by the Fairfield County Schubert Club, the Connecticut Music Teachers National Association, First United Methodist Church of Stamford, the University of Rhode Island, and the Eastern Connecticut Orchestra. Since 2008, he has performed at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City and Merkin Concert Hall, among other venues. 

As a composer, he won prizes in composition contests held by the National Federation of Music Clubs, Sparks Wiry & Cries, the New York Arts Ensemble, the Connecticut Music Teachers National Association, and Webster University. In 2012, an excerpt from his first opera, Apollo and Hermes, was performed at the Rose Theater in Lincoln Center. Later that year, he made his European debut performing his Rhapsody for Solo Piano in Vienna. Jarrar completed an opera development internship to workshop his second opera, The Fall of the House of Usher, at Opera America during the summer 2015, a work which has deep personal resonance for him. This chamber opera, based on the short story of the same name Edgar Allan Poe, was the main project of his undergraduate thesis. He served as the producer, casting director, musical director, and pianist on the production. The Fall of the House of Usher was world premiered in a fully staged production in March 2016 at Marlboro College in Vermont. Shortly after the successful opening in Vermont, the opera toured off-Broadway at NYC's The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in April 2016 to sold-out crowds. A critical and commercial success, it was praised by critics such as 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, who wrote that, "It is a work of great... intensity, capturing the obliquely dark world of the Poe story from which it's derived. Felix's dramatic instincts are strong and richly projected through the singing and highly developed instrumental accompaniment." Jarrar presented his analysis paper Die Lorelei at the 2016 BGSU Graduate Student Conference in March 2016 as one of only a few senior undergraduate presenters. In August 2016, Jarrar participated in the highSCORE Festival Composition Program in Pavia, Italy. While there, the flute-guitar duo, Unassisted Fold, premiered his Variations on a Dirge. Now the keyboardist of the pop act The Petra Jarrar Band, he has toured NYC, Japan, and Los Angeles with the group. His first string quartet, Mosaic of Myself: a Walt Whitman Experience, co-commissioned by Metropolitan Opera violinist Brendan Speltz and cellist Andrew Janss, received its world premiere at The Church of the Intercession in NYC on December 10th, 2016. His 2017 work, Songs of the Soul Beams, a theatrical song cycle with original text by Brittany Goodwin about personal grief, premiered at BAM on June 4th, 2017. The work was praised by Broadway World as “experimental and beautifully composed”, and won Jarrar the 2017 Kaddish Millet ‘48 award from the Brooklyn College Conservatory for the recognition of a special talent in songwriting. His new ballad opera, Dickens' A Christmas Carol the Opera, written on commission from Gramercy Opera, world premieres on December 1st-3rd, 2017 in Park Slope. His fourth opera, Tabula Rasa, a jazz opera about Kiki de Montparnasse, debuted in May 4th, 2018 as part of New York Opera Alliance's Operafest to a sold-out run of shows in Midtown east's Blue Building and rave reviews. He is currently working on his fifth opera, Mother Goose. Jarrar loves to read, hike, and watch reruns of Law and Order SVU.

Jarrar received a Bachelor of Arts from Marlboro College with highest honors, and studied music composition with Stanley Charkey and piano performance with Robert Merfeld. He is currently pursuing his Master’s of Music Composition at Brooklyn College on the Cerf Music and Chancey Memorial Scholarships, and studies with Jason Eckardt. Jarrar holds the prestigious graduate fellowship for assistant directing ConTempo, Ursula Oppens' contemporary ensemble in the conservatory.