Saman Shahi is a JUNO-nominated composer, pianist, and conductor based in Toronto. His music has been described as “Powerful and empowering” (The Wholenote), “Lucid and dramatic” (Musicworks) and “Endlessly rewarding” (I Care If You Listen).
Saman's compositions have been performed all over the globe. Saman's orchestral music has been performed by Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Youth Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera, National Ballet of Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, and Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few.
As a pianist and conductor, Saman has been an avid performer and advocate of new music in Canada. Saman has been the conductor at the opening of Tirgan Nowruz Festival in 2018, Loose Tea Music Theatre BIPOC opera workshop in 2021 and many other productions. His 2019 Ontario-wide solo Piano tour titled "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.
In 2019, Saman was appointed as the new Music Director at the Peterborough Concert band, one of Canada's oldest and most committed community music groups. He also works as a composer and teaching artist with the Canadian Opera Company.
In 2021 one of 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 three of his song cycles. 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 also named the recipient of the 2020 Riversong Commission award by Whispering River Orchestra. This score was also 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 also the finalist for the Atlanta Opera's “96 Hour Opera” Project in 2022 with his latest opera “Before the Last Meter”.
His most recent composition album, “Microlocking” was released by People|Places|Records in 2021, containing a series of his chamber works.
Saman regularly serves as a judge at the Juno Awards, East Coast Music Awards, FACTOR and other federal and provincial granting bodies.