Arash Safaian was born in Tehran in 1981 and came into contact with music in Germany at an early age. He attended the music grammar school in Bayreuth. During this time he also received his first composition lessons. Later he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, yet soon transferred to the University of Music and Theatre in Munich to study composition.
He has appeared within numerous concert and operatic works. He composed the short opera „At Stacke“ for the Munich Opera Biennale in 2010 and his second music theatre piece „On the Beach“ for the thirtieth stage anniversary of Philipp Glass‘ opera „Einstein on the Beach“. This was premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York, directed by Robert Wilson with sets by Egill Saebjornsson. In 2017 he composed the opera „Der Schuss – 2.6.1967“ on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Benno Ohnesorg‘s death for the Berlin Neukölln Opera, which received a broad response from the media.
Since 2016 he has composed two piano concerto cycles for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the pianist Sebastian Knauer. Both cycles are based on the form of variation and are modern formulations of „music about music“. Central to both works are themes of Bach and Beethoven’s compositions. Composed in 2016, „ÜberBach“ was released by Neue Meister/Edel and was celebrated in international concert halls after its premiere at the Tonhalle Zurich. The Nationaltheater Mannheim staged „ÜberBach“ in combination with Handel‘s „Dixit Dominus“ in the ballet „Sansoussi“ to a full-length ballet. „ÜberBach“ was awarded the ECHO: Klassik in 2017. After its release, it started directly in the German classical music charts and stayed there for three months.
In 2019 he composed the piano cycle „Beethoven Variations“ for piano and large orchestra, which was released by Modern Recordings/BMG under the title „THIS IS (NOT) BEETHOVEN“. These „Beethoven Variations“ made it to the german classical Charts and the US Billboards in two categories and topped the iTunes charts in several countries, as well as being named an „Album we loved in 2020“ by Apple Music and placed among the cross-genre Top 100 Songs of 2020.
In 2018, Safaian wrote the music for Jan-Ole Gerster‘s award-winning feature film „Lara“. In addition to the original score, he also composed a piano concerto for the film, which was performed by pianist Alice Sara Ott. The soundtrack was released by Deutsche Grammophon in fall 2019. Safaian was awarded the Bavarian Film Award for „Lara“ in January 2020. The Bavarian Film Award in the category film music was awarded for the first time in 7 years to a composer for film music on this occasion.
His Music is performed in international concert halls like Tonhalle Zürich, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Berlin, Savannah Music Festival, National Theatre Mannheim, L´Auditori de Barcelona, Odessa Music Festival, Philharmonie Luxemburg, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Prinzregentheater Munich and many more.
He looks back to performances with orchestras and ensembles like the Zürcher Kammerorchester, Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Bach-Collegium Munich, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Konzerthausorchester Berlin. Arash Safaian is involved in the promotion of contemporary music on various juries, including the Berlin Opera Prize and the Music Fund of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Arash Safaian is a laureate of the Composition Prize of the Reinl Foundation Vienna, the Günther Bialas Prize, the EON Kulturpreis Bayern and the Kunstförderpreis Bayern. He was a scholarship holder of the Villa Concordia Bamberg, the City of Munich and the Cité des Artes Paris.