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Ghiya Rushidat (she/her) is an award-winning orchestral composer with an expansive, multicultural creative voice. Born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Jordan, and now based between Los Angeles and the UK, she has built a career composing music for both Western and Middle Eastern projects and is a strong advocate for ensuring that Arab culture and heritage is more widely embraced by Hollywood. Her ultimate aim is to bring a more eclectic sound to mainstream multimedia.
Ghiya’s musical journey started at the age of four when she started playing piano by ear. This led her to study classical music before becoming a concert pianist, giving over 150 performances across the Middle East and Europe, including at the world famous Carnegie Hall. With a passion for touring, she has played with and written for bands and musicians around the world. Her mystical piece ‘Fly and Flow’ was recorded by a 70-piece orchestra in Budapest, Hungary and won the prestigious BMI Foundation Pete Carpenter Fellowship Award in 2017.
Having already established herself as “one to watch,” Ghiya was chosen as one of only eight composers – from 800 applicants – to participate in the renowned Sundance Composers Lab and was mentored by several Oscar-winning film composers including Christopher Young , James Newton Howard, Christophe Beck, Trevor Morris, Marco Beltrami, and Miriam Cutler. Her album ‘All The Imaginary Video Games I Scored’ was on the ballot for the Grammy Awards in 2019, and she was also part of the jury at Le Petit Cannes Film Festival.
Her work has been featured in Hollywood films, Al Jazeera and BBC documentaries, television series, and video games. Ghiya’s signature immersive and sensory composition can be heard in ‘Pen of Mirrors’, the feature film starring Oscar nominee Eric Roberts; ‘ Ajwan’, an adaptation of the best selling novel series and the first Arab animated sci-fi thriller series ’; and ‘Shadow Vaults’, featuring Javier Muñoz, star of ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway.
As a female composer – and even more so as an Arab woman – Ghiya is well aware of her position of prominence in a male-dominated arena. As a mentor to newer members of the industry, she also proudly participates in workshops such as Women in VR, Digital Hollywood, and Women in Media Collective, events which are designed to empower more women to succeed creatively and professionally in their fields and shatter glass ceilings. She is a board member for the Alliance for Women Film Composers, a member of the Composers Diversity Collective, as well as an active voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs), the Television Academy (Emmy Awards), the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Her passion for her own lifelong learning has driven her to continually hone her craft and study new and exciting developments in music. To date, she has earned degrees in piano performance and musicology from the Royal College of Music in London, Yarmouk University in Jordan, and Conservatoire National de Danse et de Musique de Lyon in France. She also uses these teachings to lead workshops and masterclasses around the world.
Beyond music, Ghiya has a deep curiosity in the power of the mind and is studying neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She has collaborated with a former NASA scientist on technological innovations that will allow autistic children to better and more openly express themselves and is a strong advocate for mental health. Ghiya works with a variety of charities and was nominated for an award by Queen Rania of Jordan for her voluntary work with cancer patients and victims of domestic abuse.