Samir Odeh-Tamimi has developed his very own language in music which draws upon his intense involvement with both western avant-garde music and Arabic music performance practice. Full of enthusiasm for the European classics as well as New Music, the Palestinian-Israeli composer arrived in Germany at the age of 22 and studied musicology and composition. Alongside studying the works of his compositional paragons, who include Giacinto Scelsi and Iannis Xenakis, he also questioned the musical culture of his native country; he had studied this in his youth as a member of an ensemble performing traditional Arabic music on contemporary instruments.
Samir Odeh-Tamimi’s compositions can now be heard at well-known festivals, and he has received commissions from Deutschlandfunk, Saarländischer Rundfunk, the Donaueschingen Festival, European Centre of the Arts in Hellerau, WDR Radio and Bavarian Radio/musica viva. In 2010, his music theatre pieceLeila und Madschnun received its world premiere at the Ruhrtriennale in Bochum. As part of the project into Istanbul, initiated by Ensemble Modern and the Siemens Arts Programme in cooperation with the Goethe Institute, he composed a piece for Ensemble Modern inspired by his stay in the Turkish metropolis. During the last few years, Samir Odeh-Tamimi has also closely collaborated with the Boulanger Trio and the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart. The singers have since travelled to the composer’s birthplace and parents’ home close to Tel Aviv to discover his musical roots for the premiere of a new piece for Stuttgart’s Eclat Festival.
Samir Odeh-Tamimi’s oratorio “Hinter der Mauer” (Behind the Wall) was commissioned by the RIAS Kammerchor on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of German reunification. Following its world premiere in the Berlin Radialsystem it was again performed by the RIAS Kammerchor and the musikFabrik ensemble in Jerusalem and Dresden. His oeuvre is also permeated by other political and historical issues; his piece “Hálatt-Hissár” (State of Siege), for example, refers to the violent siege of Ramallah in 2001. Mansúr, the celebrated work commissioned by the Salzburg Festival and performed for the first time in 2014 by the Bavarian Radio Choir and members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Rupert Huber, deals with the Sufi mystic and revolutionary Mansur Al-Hallağ.
Samir Odeh-Tamimi is currently composing part of a large collaborative music theatre work together with DJ and electronic musician Stefan Goldmann, which will feature the recorder player Jeremias Schwarzer as Artistic Director, singer Salome Kammer, the Japanese installation artist Chiharu Shiota and the Zafraan Ensemble. At the same time, he is working on an epilogue for Bach’s St. John Passion, commissioned by KlaraFestival, the world premiere of which will take place in March 2016. Further projects include a new piece for the WDR Choir, a viola concerto for the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, as well as a large orchestral piece for the new SWR Orchestra.
As of January 2016