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Roya Safaei is an Australian pianist, composer, and music educator. She began her musical studies with Diana Russell - a pioneer of the Suzuki Piano Method in Australia - and was awarded her Australian Music Diploma (AMusA) with distinction at the age of 15 and a nomination for the NSW Higher School Certificate Encore Program. Furthering her musical education at the Australian National University (ANU), she graduated with First-Class Honours in both Piano Performance and Composition under the Dennis Griffin Undergraduate Piano/Composition Scholarship. 

 

During this time, Roya studied with Wendy Lorenz and won the ANU Musical Achievement Award at the Whitworth Roach Classical Music Competition Finals (2019). She also performed at venues and music festivals in Canberra, including Art not Apart and Parliament House. Selected for advanced studies at the State University of New York: Stony Brook with Professor Perry Goldstein and Taiwanese pianist Hsini-Huang, Roya showcased her original compositions at the prestigious Staller Centre in New York.

Currently pursuing a PhD at the ANU under the supervision of Professor Kim Cunio, Dr. Chris Sainsbury, and Dr. Bonnie McConnell, Roya's research, titled ‘The Voice of the Second Generation: Re-imagining Persian Music in the Australian Context’, has won numerous awards, including Second Prize for her presentation at the 44th National Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia and the People’s Choice Award for the Three-Minute Thesis Competition (2021). As a commissioned composer for the ANU Women and Music Group, Roya's works have resonated both in Australia and overseas. In her role as a music educator, she has amassed extensive experience as a piano teacher and university music theory lecturer. Formerly the convenor of the ANU Music and Globalisation course, she advocates for a more diverse undergraduate music theory curriculum, as demonstrated in her presentation at the City University of London's Music and the University Conference (2022) alongside colleagues Dr. Alexander Hunter and Rachael Thoms.

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