Felix Jarrar is a 23-year-old composer and pianist whose list of accomplishments includes performances at diverse venues such as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, Feinstein's/54 below, BAM's Fisher Hillman Studio, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. His works have been performed internationally by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, and the duo Unassisted Fold.
He served as the composer, librettist, producer, casting director, musical director, and pianist on the production of his second opera The Fall of the House of Usher, which opened in 2016 at Vermont's Marlboro College and toured off-Broadway at NYC's The DiMenna Center for Classical Music that April to sold-out crowds. A critical and commercial success, it was praised by critics such as 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, who wrote that, "It is a work of great... intensity, capturing the obliquely dark world of the Poe story from which it's derived. Felix's dramatic instincts are strong and richly projected through the singing and highly developed instrumental accompaniment." Jarrar presented his analysis paper Die Lorelei at the 2016 BGSU Graduate Student Conference in March 2016 as one of only a few senior undergraduate presenters. His 2017 work, Songs of the Soul Beams, a theatrical song cycle with original text by Brittany Goodwin about personal grief, premiered at BAM in 2017. The work was praised by Broadway World as “experimental and beautifully composed”, and won Jarrar the 2017 Kaddish Millet ‘48 award from the Brooklyn College Conservatory for the recognition of a special talent in songwriting. His fourth opera, Tabula Rasa, a jazz opera about Kiki de Montparnasse with a libretto by Brittany Goodwin, debuted this year as part of New York Opera Alliance's Operafest in a sold-out run of shows in Midtown east's Blue Building. His most substantial work to date, Tabula Rasa was praised for it's "“lush and memorable melodies” by Operawire. Jarrar is currently the composer-in-residence for the 2018-2019 season with The Downtown Brooklyn Chamber Music Festival and is working on a newly-commissioned ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes” for New York Deaf Theatre. Jarrar's fifth opera, Mother Goose, is scheduled to be premiered during the 2019-2020 season (details TBA). In his spare time, he loves to read, hike, and watch reruns of Law and Order SVU.
Jarrar received a Bachelor of Arts from Marlboro College with highest honors and studied music composition with Stanley Charkey and piano performance with Robert Merfeld. He is currently pursuing his Master’s of Music Composition at Brooklyn College on the Eleanor Kilcoyne, Cerf Music, and Chancey Memorial Scholarships. He studies with Jason Eckardt. Jarrar holds the prestigious graduate fellowship for assisting ConTempo, Ursula Oppens' contemporary ensemble in the conservatory.