Dr. Kelariz Keshavarz is an Assistant Professor of Flute at Western Carolina University with a distinguished career marked by innovative interdisciplinary projects, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and significant contributions to contemporary music. Her devotion to her craft is manifest in her various roles as a solo performer, curator, adjudicator, composer, and pedagogue, and she brings to each a passion for fostering understanding and appreciation of music’s rich and diverse tapestry.
In the realm of music education, Kelariz has dedicated herself to nurturing the next generation of musicians and fostering an inclusive and diverse learning environment. After her doctoral studies, she further enriched her knowledge and experience in the field through a postdoctoral position, focusing on innovative educational approaches and curricula. She believes in an education that empowers students to explore, question, and create, bridging the knowledge and inspiration between varied musical traditions and contemporary practices.
Kelariz's profound understanding and mastery of the French School of flute playing have made her a sought-after educator and performer in this domain. Her approach embodies the elegance, clarity, and expressive subtlety characteristic of this school, offering her audience and students a refined and poignant musical experience. She meticulously explores the nuances of tone color, articulation, and phrasing intrinsic to the French School, ensuring an authentic and enlightened representation of this esteemed tradition in her performances and teachings.
A dedicated scholar and performer of early music, Kelariz Keshavarz has delved deeply into the study and performance of music on the traverso. This exploration represents her passion for the rich textures and expressive possibilities inherent in historical performance practice. By connecting with the traditions and aesthetics of the past, she brings forth nuanced and informed renditions of early music, allowing the listeners to experience the beauty and complexity of musical expressions from bygone eras.
Kelariz’s musical journey is characterized by her extensive exploration of and contribution to contemporary music. She is a pioneering force behind the “Iranian New Waves” project, a groundbreaking endeavor aimed at showcasing over fifty novel compositions for solo flute by prominent contemporary Iranian composers. This project serves as a musical anthology, embracing compositions that draw inspiration from the millennia-rich history of music-making in Persia, and the culturally-rich repertoire it has spawned.
“Iranian New Waves” is distinctive for the diversity it brings to the flute repertoire, featuring composers of Iranian descent from across the globe, each contributing their unique approaches and influences. The compositions reflect a spectrum of inspirations, from rustic shepherd music to the dynamic vibes of modern cities, from the profound words of Persian poets and philosophers to Western cultural imprints. Kelariz, along with co-curator Amin Sharifi, has meticulously brought these pieces to life, demonstrating her vast musical prowess across various flutes, including the piccolo, alto, and bass flute.
A significant subset of this project is “Abstractum,” focusing on the flute and piano works of Alireza Mashayekhi, a pioneer of multiculturalism in music. Another remarkable endeavor within this project is a pedagogical initiative launched during the COVID-19 pandemic specifically for young Iranian composers. The Call for Young Iranian Composers is a revolutionary competition complemented by pedagogical workshops, lectures, and lessons designed to empower the voices of young Iranian composers despite the prevailing cultural and political constraints in Iran. This initiative has enabled young composers to connect with global audiences and has featured the works of emerging talents in workshops and lectures by renowned artists such as Chaya Czernowin, Oscar Bianchi, and Ken Ueno.
Kelariz’s commitment to her art is highlighted in the acclaim she has received for her performances, particularly her masterful integration of extended techniques into musical discourse, as noted by Fanfare Magazine: “The sheer variety of sounds and their expressions is utterly remarkable, as is Kelariz Keshavarz’s virtuosity... Keshavarz is a fine interpreter, producing a convincing whole while giving the impression that each microsecond has been considered... her mastery of extended techniques is notable for the way she is able to integrate them into the musical discourse so effectively; they are not “effects,” but a real and integral part of the flute’s ability to express.”
Delving deep into the explorative domain of sound, Kelariz has instigated a project titled 'Minimpronics'. This compilation is a vivid tapestry of her electroacoustic compositions and improvisations, showcasing her versatile command over various flutes. 'Minimpronics' is not just a musical anthology but a sonic journey that follows the principle of cyclicism in its formal construction. Each piece is a manifestation of Kelariz’s innovative approach to music, blending the intricate structures of composition with the spontaneity of improvisation. This project reflects her passion for expanding the auditory palette and exploring the limitless possibilities of musical expression, inviting listeners to experience a unique convergence of sounds, textures, and resonances
Kelariz's passion for bridging the gaps between different art forms has seen her embark on numerous interdisciplinary projects. She collaborates extensively with artists from various disciplines such as dance, visual arts, and theater to create transformative musical experiences. By synthesizing elements from different artistic mediums, she explores new dimensions of expression and perception in music, pushing the boundaries of conventional musical narratives and structures. These endeavors represent her commitment to exploring and expanding the artistic potential of music and its ability to communicate and evoke.
In her multifaceted career, Kelariz is also an active adjudicator, workshop coordinator, and has held significant roles in several music organizations, both nationally and internationally, such as the Iran Flute Society, the Utah Flute Association, and the Tehran Flute Choir. She has been a consistent advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in music, dedicating her expertise to facilitate access to music education and performance, and to enrich the musical landscape with diverse voices and innovative projects. Her relentless pursuit of musical excellence and innovation is evident in her creative projects, workshops, albums, and her significant roles in music organizations, making her a revered figure in contemporary music. Kelariz Keshavarz is a Haynes flute artist and plays on a 14K Haynes custom flute.