Los Angeles based composer, Karim Elmahmoudi (*1972) was originally from the ancient port city of Alexandria, Egypt, and moved to the United States while a child. Led by an early fascination in science and astronomy, he first studied Aerospace Engineering, but then switched to music and studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Composition extension program and privately with Alexis Alrich for five years. He also attended the University of Southern California Thornton Graduate School of Music where his professors included Christopher Young, James Newton Howard, Pete Anthony, Richard Kraft, Joel McNeely, Jeff Atmajian, and Lennie Moore. Additionally, he further studied with composer and orchestrator Conrad Pope, whose credits include film scores for “Star Wars”, “Jurassic Park” and the “Harry Potter” series.
Karim Elmahmoudi has contributed to many projects as arranger and orchestrator for films, television and video games. In 2006 he worked together with Christopher Young on film projects like “Spiderman 3”, “Sleepwalking”, and “Untraceable”. He also arranged and orchestrated music for video games like “Grim Fandango” (Lucasarts), “Star Wars – The Old Republic” (Lucasarts), “Disneyland Adventures” (Disney), and “Dante’s Inferno”(Electronic Arts).
Among the compositions by Karim Elmahmoudi for concert hall are two symphonies, a dozen symphonic poems and chamber music including a brass quintet (“Flourish and Plight”), a string quartet, a duet for flute and harp (“Beyond the Farthest Skies”), and about a dozen piano works. Karim had the great opportunity to combine his passions for space and music with his three part series of tone poems starting with the symphonic fantasy “Orbit” from 2012. This work was premiered in November 18, 2012, by the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra with David Weiss conducting. It was chosen by the California Science Center (permanent home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour) to be played hourly as part of their IMAX presentations and has been heard by over three million people over the past years. A rehearsal excerpt of this work can be heard here (Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, Marlene Pauley conductor). Other works in this space trilogy include “Earthrise” (2015, premiered by the La Sierra University Ensemble conducted by Gio Santos), and the newly completed “Cosmic Horizons” (2017).
Besides his work as an arranger and orchestrator, Karim Elmahmoudi also plays the bass trombone in various orchestras. He performed with the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony of which he is was the Composer-in-Residence (2008-2016).
Additionally, he has received commissions/grants for compositions from the Los Angeles City Arts Counsel, Flagstaff Arts Counsel, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and BMI.
Karim Elmahmoudi was awarded the BMI Outstanding Achievement Award in 2007, Nova Award in 2014, and is a three time semi-finalist of the American Prize in Composition (2015, 2016, 2017).
His violin concertino, “Solemn Prologue for solo violin and strings”, was composed in 2010 and revised in 2012.
This sound snippet below is from a performance of a studio recording with members of the USC Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.
For additional music and more information about this composer, visit his website at karelm.com.