Sepehr Pirasteh (b. 1993) is a composer and conductor born in Shiraz, Iran. His compositions draw on Persian classical and folk as well as contemporary classical music vocabularies to express his concerns and fears about the political and social realities of the world we are living in. Sepehr’s works have been performed by ensembles such as Argus String Quartet, PRISM saxophone quartet, Pushback Ensemble, Unheard-of Ensemble, Orquestra Criança Cidadã, Hole in the floor, fivebyfive, and members of the Fifth House Ensemble. He has been commissioned by Detroit Composers’ Project, YInMn project, Pushback Collective, Fresh Inc. Festival, Yara Ensemble, Central Michigan University’s (CMU) Percussion Ensemble, and the CMU Saxophone Ensemble. His music has been performed in Argentina, Brazil, Iran and the United States.


As a conductor, he has been focusing on premiering new music written by young and emerging composers as well as conducting the classical repertoire. Sepehr served as the director of the CMU New Music Ensemble, Pierrot Ensemble, and Concert Orchestra, and Vintage community orchestra in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He was also the assistant conductor of the CMU Symphony Orchestra. In 2020 he started serving as the director of Temple Composers’ Orchestra (TCO).


Sepehr currently is a Ph.D. candidate in composition at Temple University. He pursued his MM in Composition and Orchestral Conducting at Central Michigan University. Sepehr studied composition with Dr. Jose-Luis Maurtua, Dr. Evan Ware and conducting with Dr. Jose-Luis Maurtua. He has participated in workshops and masterclasses by Reiko Fueting, Nirmali Fenn, Christopher Stark, Derek Bermel, Julia Adolphe, Dan Visconti, Jennifer Jolley. Sepehr received his BA in Composition from Tehran University of Art (Iran) where he studied with Mohammad-Reza Tafazzoli, Shahram Tavakoli, Arman Nowrouzi. He plays a Persian instrument, Tanbour and is currently based in Philadelphia.

Photo Credit: Ryan Brandenberg

Background Photo: Masjed-e Vakil, Shiraz, Iran by Amir Khalifeh