Composer-vocalist Akmal Parwez was born into a musical and artistic family in Punjab, Pakistan. His father was the renowned poet, music scholar and journalist, Afzal Parwez. He studied electronics in Tokyo on a Japanese government scholarship, receiving B.E. and M.E. degrees. However, after a brief engineering career, and encouraged by his composition teachers Yasushi Akutagawa and Klaus Pringsheim, he felt compelled to devote his life to composing, singing, and teaching music.
He came to the U.S. to study voice with Joseph Klein and later studied composition with Florence Jolley, Leo Kraft, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, and Joseph Schwantner. He received an M.A. in Composition from Queens College and a Ph.D. in Composition from the Eastman School of Music.
Parwez is a bass-baritone soloist, choral conductor, and voice teacher who often performs his own works. His music, which is a romantic and uniquely dynamic synthesis of Eastern and Western compositional techniques, has been extensively performed—and well received—throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia. Winner of the William Cullen Bryant Bicentennial Composition Prize for his Song of the Prairies*, Parwez has received a SUNY Award for his Pneumatic Polychrome for Symphonic Wind Ensemble and ASCAP Standard Awards annually since 1984, several grants from Meet the Composer, four Composer Assistance Program Grants from the American Music Center—for his Chenab (premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra) NavRasa (Nonet for W/W Quintet & String Quartet), Ragalogues (Woodwind Quintet), and Once Upon a Springtime (Flute & Bassoon Soloists & Wind Ensemble)—as well as grants from the Queens Council on the Arts, the Huntington Arts Council, and an Honorable Mention in the 1983 George Eastman Prize Competition for his Tantra for Bassoon and Harp. His music is published by Tamarind Tones Music
Parwez has taught at the Malaysian Science University, Penang, as well as at SUNY-Potsdam, NYU, Hofstra, Queens College, and the Japanese School of New York.
* Available on CD