“…Bustan’s music moves and pulls the heart,
at times bursting with longing whilst
then reassembling itself anew
in an european-elegant way.” 

        Jüdische Allgemeine

shaul bustan


Located between classical avant-garde, world music, jazz and free improvisation, the music of the Israeli composer Shaul Bustan creates a completely new world of sound, far from narrow genre boundaries.

Shaul was born in 1983 in a small kibbutz in the Negev desert, in southern Israel. He grew up between two worlds, as the child of a Persian mother and an Eastern European father. This not only shaped him personally, but also musically he is a traveler between cultures and genres. Shauls tonal language tells of his origins as a studied composer of classical music as well as his virtuosity as a player of the oud, the oriental short-necked lute, on which he improvises effortlessly incorporating elements of jazz into his tonal language. In this way he creates highly original and yet very smooth listening experiences, which clearly bring the connection between Orient and Occident to life.

Shaul graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance with a Masters Degree in Composition in 2009. He has written pieces; from opera to chamber and orchestral music to music for film, theater and dance. Shaul has composed for several international orchestras, ensembles and soloists, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, EOS Chamber Orchestra Cologne, Tiroler Ensemble für Neue Musik, Meitar Ensemble, as well as for the mandolinist Avi Avital, the Klezmer maestro Giora Feidman and for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.

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

Since 2011, Shaul lives in Germany. In addition to his work as a composer in various projects, he is the musical director of Ensemble Flensburg and performs regularly with his trio all over Germany.

He has received several awards for his work, including Best music at the International Film Festival of Ahmednagar (India, 2021), 1st prize at the International Tapiola Choir Choral Composition Competition (Finland, 2020), Avni-Yaddor composition competition (Israel, 2008) and scholarships from 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.



  • Jüdische Museum in Rendsburg 05.05.24

    Between the Desert and the Sea.
    Shaul Bustan Solo - Concert and Talk

  • Südbrandenburgischen Orgelakademie - Bad Liebenwerda 20.10.24

    "We are both meshugga"
    Our German-Israeli love story
    Reading performance with musical accompaniment followed by an audience discussion


"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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Shaul Bustan
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