Classical Music

Sound Post Episode I: Composer Saad Haddad

The Space We Hold is a five-part documentary series featuring composers Saad Haddad, Jeffrey Mumford, inti-figgis vizueta, Pamela Z, Billy Childs, and others.


Co-created by VC Artists Nathan Meltzer and Devin MooreOpus Illuminate‘s newest project, The Space We Hold, is presented in partnership with the Alphadyn Foundation

The series includes both recorded performances and interviews to provide insight into the personal lives and compositional styles of each composer. The aim of the project is to humanize the music and facilitate a personal relationship between the audience and the composer. Topics range from early education and musical upbringing to the unique experiences of being a composer that is part of a traditionally underrepresented or mistreated community.

Episode 1 features composer Saad Haddad, whose music blends the performance techniques of Middle Eastern musical tradition and Western art music.


Musicians: flutist Anthony Trionfo, harpist Deanna Cirielli, violists Jordan Bak and James Chanha Kang, violinists Abigel Kralik and Njioma Grevious, and cellist Leland Ko


Born in 1992, Haddad’s recent commissions include a piano concerto for IRCAM and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France; a clarinet concerto for Kinan Azmeh and the Princeton Symphony; two string quartets for the Lydian and Callisto Quartets; a mixed octet for the International Contemporary Ensemble; and an orchestral work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 

His orchestral works have been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, among others. Haddad is a recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Barlow Endowment General Commission, S&R Foundation Washington Award Grand Prize, Jerome Fund for New Music grant from the American Composers Forum, Palmer Dixon Award from The Juilliard School, and Aaron Copland Residency Award.

As the current Dean’s Fellow at Columbia University, he served as Young Concert Artists’ 2019–2021 Composer-in-Residence.


Opus Illuminate is a performance organization dedicated to expanding the classical music industry by performing works by composers of historically underrepresented communities and heritages.

“By experiencing a whole new collection of works by composers of diverse demographics, we will be beautifying and enriching not only our culture as classical musicians, but our culture at large,” Nathan Meltzer said. “We can change our society by choosing to allow the art form that we all love to finally represent all the people of a vast spectrum of cultures, heritages, and communities, who have dedicated their lives to the craft.”


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