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Ruben Zahra

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The musical “mosaic” of Ruben Zahra is composed from fragments of colliding musical cultures. His interest in classical, rock, jazz, and world music has led him to develop a style which absorbs these influences within the music tapestry of his contemporary works. After graduating from the University of Malta in 1994 he was awarded a scholarship by the Italian Cultural Institute to further his studies in composition at the National Music Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome. While in Italy he studied film music with Ennio Morricone. In 2000 he moved to the USA for an MA degree in composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. In 2002 he moved to Los Angeles and spent two years working for the Hollywood film industry. As a composer Ruben Zahra is committed to contemporary expression and Mediterranean music heritage. His compositions are often performed by international ensembles within contemporary music festivals. As leader of the Nafra folk ensemble he is a major exponent of Maltese traditional music and has been invited to present concerts in major international events all over Europe as well as in Tunisia, India and Hong Kong. The encounter and tension between heritage and innovation is the most significant relationship in the music of Ruben Zahra.



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