Cynthia Zaven

Artist Biography

Cynthia Zaven is a composer, pianist and artist based in Beirut.

Her projects combine a variety of media including video, photography, performance and the use of archive material to explore the relationship between sound, memory and identity through interwoven narratives.

Her works include Untuned Piano Concerto With Delhi Traffic Orchestra (performance, 2006), Morse Code Composition (ICA, 2012), and more recently, Perpetuum Mobile, a 12 channel sound installation that was exhibited within the epic temple of Bacchus, in the World Heritage site of Baalbeck, and nominated for the Prix Ars Electronica Award 2017.

Since 1993, Zaven has also created sound design for theater, live performance, dance and conceptual art projects. She has collaborated with musicians and vocalists such as the Neue Vocalsolisten, the Ensemble Modern and the Danapris String Quartet.

She has also composed music scores for films and documentaries. The award-winning works have been screened at festivals and institutions worldwide including the international film festivals at Cannes, Locarno, Toronto, Edinburgh, Dubai, as well as IDFA, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Sao Paolo, the Bern Kunstmuseum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and Oxford’s Museum of Modern Art.

In July 2015, Eurasians Unity, the ensemble she took part of was awarded the Ruth prize at the Rudolstadt Music Festival in Germany.

Her music has been published by the Berlin based label, Staalplaat.

She is currently professor of classical piano at the Higher National Conservatory of Music in Beirut.

Cynthia Zaven is represented by Galerie Tanit Beirut.


15 Years, Crossed Perspectives
Collective Exhibition

From November 4, 2022 to January 7, 2023

I Am One Acquainted With The Night
Collective Exhibition

From June 5, 2021 to September 25, 2021

From Sound to Silence
Collective Exhibition

From June 7, 2017 to August 5, 2017

Féminités Plurielles
Collective Exhibition

From February 8, 2018 to April 5, 2018

Cynthia Zaven News
"The Sound of Music in the twenty-first century. Contemporary composition has become as fractured as the art world – and that’s a good thing."
Cynthia Zaven in the New Yorker
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