Saman Shahi is a JUNO-Nominated composer, pianist, and conductor based in Toronto whose music has been described as “Inspired and spontaneous” (The Indie Source), “Lucid and dramatic” (Musicworks) and “Endlessly rewarding” (I Care If You Listen).
Saman's compositions have been championed across North America, Europe and Asia by groups such as The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Youth Symphony Orchestra, The Atlanta Opera, National Ballet of Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, and Soundstreams. His music has also been broadcast on CBC, PBS Georgia, Radio Télévision Suisse, BBC Farsi and VOA Farsi.
As a pianist and conductor, Saman has been an avid performer and advocate of new music in Canada. He is the Music Director at the Peterborough Concert Band. He is also very active as a conductor in Canada and the USA. His 2019 solo Piano tour "In Search of Polarity" featured music of Iranian composers in Diaspora. He also is the pianist of “Rogue Duo”, a violin piano duo with Bijan Sepanji that has been active since 2017.
Saman holds a Masters degree in composition from the University of Toronto, is an Affiliate Member of the Canadian League of Composers, Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre as well as a SOCAN member. He is a Co-founder and the Executive Director at ICOT, and serves as a board member at the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects and Musicworks magazine. He also works as a composer and Teaching Artist with the Canadian Opera Company.
In 2021 his Miniatures for piano solo was published in the London College of Music grade 5 piano hand book, Uk's official conservatory method book. Two of his other piano works are also included in the Royal Conservatory of Music's 2022 Syllabus in Canada.
In 2020 Saman's debut composition album "Breathing in the Shadows" was recorded and released by Leaf Music. This album contains of his vocal music. His song cycle "Orbit" in this album won the second prize in Canadian Amateur Musician's Associations' composition Competition in 2019. In 2022 JUNO Awards, “Breathing in the Shadows” from this album was nominated in the “Classical Composition of the Year” category.
Saman was named the recipient of the 2020 Riversong Commission Award by Whispering River Orchestra. This score was later selected as part of Toronto Symphony Orchestra's “Explore the Score”. He was also selected as a finalist in Kaleidoscope Chamber orchestra's international call for scores for his song cycle “Songs of a Wandering Soul” in 2020. He was the finalist for the Atlanta Opera's “96 Hour Opera” Project in 2022 with his latest opera “Before the Last Meter”.
His second composition album, “Microlocking” was released by People|Places|Records in 2021, containing a series of his chamber works. Saman's next commercial release will be a chamber orchestra album featuring new Canadian music slated for release by Leaf Music in Fall of 2023.
Saman regularly serves as a judge at the Juno Awards, East Coast Music Awards, FACTOR and other federal and provincial granting bodies.