“…Shaul Bustan’s music blends European symphonic richness with Middle Eastern flair, punctuated by cinematic touches. His Oud playing, ranging from gentle melodies to rhythmic bursts, beautifully embodies his message of cultural fusion.” 

   nmz – neue musikzeitung

shaul bustan


BIOGRAPHY

Shaul Bustan's music weaves together classical avant-garde, world music, jazz, and free improvisation, crafting a unique sonic landscape that transcends genre boundaries.

Born in 1983 in a small kibbutz in the Negev desert of southern Israel, Shaul grew up immersed in two distinct cultures—his mother's Persian heritage and his father's Eastern European background. This dual influence not only shaped him personally but also musically, making him a versatile traveler between cultures and genres. His tonal language reflects his background as a classically trained composer and his virtuosity as an oud player. Through seamless improvisation, he effortlessly blends jazz elements into his music, creating original and harmonious compositions that bridge the gap between the Orient and the Occident.

Shaul earned his Master's Degree in Composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in 2009. His diverse repertoire encompasses opera, chamber music, orchestral compositions, and scores for film, theater, and dance. He has collaborated with renowned international orchestras and ensembles, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, EOS Chamber Orchestra Cologne, and Tiroler Ensemble für Neue Musik.

In 2023, Shaul premiered his new piece, "Winter," performing as an oud soloist with the German Chamber Orchestra Berlin (Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin) in the prestigious Great Hall of the Berliner Philharmonie.

Shaul's artistic achievements have been recognized with several awards, including Best Music at the International Film Festival of Ahmednagar (India, 2021), 1st Prize at the International Tapiola Choir Choral Composition Competition (Finland, 2020), and scholarships from esteemed institutions like the German Music Fund, the German Music Council, the Berlin Senate, the Cultural Foundation of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

Since relocating to Germany in 2011, Shaul has enriched the musical landscape with his creative endeavors. In addition to composing for various projects, he serves as the musical director of Ensemble Flensburg, a platform for cross-border communicative new music. He also frequently performs with his trio across Germany, captivating audiences at prestigious venues such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Französischer Dom in Berlin.

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Press

"The Israeli composer, born in the midst of cultural diversity, advocates for a better world through his music. His works combine European symphonic elements, Middle Eastern influences, and cinematic elements. Bustan's Oud playing, characterized by gentle melodies to rhythmic accents, reflects his message of cultural blending." Stefan Pieper, (29.11.2023)

Music Overcomes Terror Fear Shaul Bustan and his Ensemble Flensburg. Interview by Miron Tenenberg (17.11.2023)

"Born in cultural diversity, Israeli composer Shaul Bustan, now residing in Flensburg, with his Ensemble Flensburg, embracing diversity, presents 'Moonburn,' featuring compositions from Armenia to Britain, transcending borders and genres. Bustan's mission: fostering understanding, curiosity, and dialogue through the universal language of music." Antje Walther, (16.11.2023)

"The intercultural lineup matched the music that moved beyond narrow genre boundaries, blending classical, jazz, and oriental sounds. The spark ignited the audience, who applauded enthusiastically – and some even sang along. Applause and cheers of "Bravo" were also earned by the work..." Daniel Diekhans (05.09.2023)

"The symphony orchestra continues the rehearsal, and the rehearsal room fills with fairytale-like sounds. Some passages tempt one to dance. Romantic melodies transition smoothly into oriental ones, keeping the four horn players and four percussionists equally busy. The string players perform expressive, emotive passages, with delicate flute sounds alternating with powerful brass sections." Lilo Ingenlath-Gegic (01.09.2023)

"There are wonderful musical moments, a great overall sound and probably goosebumps for many of the participants.." Lilo Ingenlath-Gegic (June 13, 2023)

A bridge over the Mediterranean Sea. Carsten Dippel (March 18, 2022)

"I always felt closer to jazz musicians" (Interview), 16.01.2021

"His virtuoso lute playing enchanted the audience time and time again."

"devoted joy", "imaginative pieces of music", "stormy applause"

So klingt die Wüste, 14.09.2018

Junge Israelis in Deutschland, 11.11.2013

"Without a doubt he is one of the up-and-coming, young composers of our time and a cultural enrichment for Germany."

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