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Roya Safaei is an Australian-born Iranian composer and pianist whose original music focuses on the intersection between Persian traditional music and Western art composition. Studying at the Australian National University under the supervision of Professor Kim Cunio, Roya’s PhD research, ‘Connecting Cultures and Epochs: Ancient Iranian Sasanian Music for Modern Australian Art Composition’ has received recognition in various conferences and competitions. She was awarded Second Prize for her PhD presentation at the 44th National Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia and People’s Choice Award for the College of Arts and Social Sciences Three-Minute Thesis Competition (2021). Roya graduated with First Class Honours in 2017 and is a recipient of the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Stipend Scholarship to support her work.
As a member of the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA), Roya’s music has been performed both in Australia and overseas. She is passionate about introducing people to diverse musics written by minority groups and has integrated this passion into her teaching where she has developed extensive experience as a piano teacher, lecturer for Music Theory and previously as the convenor of the ANU Music and Globalisation course. She recently presented at the City University of London's Music and the University Conference (2022) about a more diverse undergraduate music theory curriculum with Dr Alexander Hunter and Rachael Thoms. As a pianist, Roya was awarded the Dennis Griffin Piano Undergraduate Scholarship and the ANU Musical Achievement Award at the Whitworth Roach Classical Music Competition (2019). She was also selected to study at the State University of New York: Stony Brook with Professor Perry Goldstein. Roya has performed at music festivals and venues in Canberra (such as Art Not Apart and Parliament House) as well as the Staller Centre in New York. Her teachers include: Dr Christopher Sainsbury, Dr Bonnie McConnell, Diana Russell, Wendy Lorenz and the Taiwanese pianist, Hsin-I Huang.
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