World-Renowned Composer, Pianist, and Queens Alum, Malek Jandali '97 to Release His 11th Album
Album marks Jandali's first Queens-commissioned release since becoming the university's composer-in-residence
by Keith Pierce
Stages around the world may be dark, but a glimmer of light is about to shine even amid a global pandemic. Malek Jandali '97 is set to release his first album since becoming the first composer-in-residence at Queens University of Charlotte. This is the 11th album from the world-renowned composer and pianist, whose debut recording was "Echoes from Ugarit" in 2009.
Commissioned by Queens University of Charlotte, the album was recorded in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra before the pandemic. The release date of Feb. 20 celebrates the first anniversary of the Carolyn G. McMahon Center for Music and the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement on the Queens campus.
"This Piano Concerto album is a continuation of my musical journey to preserve and present the rich heritage of my homeland Syria, even as it is being purposely eradicated," Jandali said.
All proceeds from the sale of the album will be donated to support Syrian children in refugee camps.
Jandali described his first piano concerto, which features three movements, as "a work in which I tried to accumulate all I know and love about the piano concerto as a genre." Additional works on the album include "The Moonlight," "Ya Allah (Oh God)," and "Elegy."
A centerpiece of Jandali's work as composer-in-residence is the creation of major symphonic works commissioned by Queens, with the goal to engage the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra for world premiere performances.
"We're excited and proud to celebrate Malek's first album release since joining us as composer-in-residence," said Queens University President Dan Lugo. "This is just the beginning of the influence his incredible work will have on our students as well as the Charlotte community."
Jandali is passionate about making the arts accessible to all and is the founder and CEO of Pianos for Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to building peace through music and education.