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Nahla Mattar is a composer, teacher, and musicologist. She currently works as associate professor at the Helwan University, Cairo. Mattar got her doctorate of musical arts in composition by the Arizona State University in spring 2005. She worked as fellow researcher at the Arts, Media and Engineering Program from 2003 until 2005.
Mattars composition teachers were Glenn Hackbarth, Judy Rockmaker, Rodney Rogers, and David Biorchfield. She took master classes with various composers as: Michael Daugherty, David Burge (USA), and Isabel Mundry (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste).
Mattars goal is to write expressive music that blends music with visual and theatrical rituals, exploring cultural pluralism and interconnectivity topics. She has a great interest in electro-acoustic/digital interactive media. Her graduation work Scars was premiered in Phoenix, Az. in April 2005, a major collaboration with videographer Joan Karlen (University of Wisconsin) and visual artist Arina Melkozernova under the musical direction of Ilana Lydia. Scars was also performed in Berlin by ensemble courage, under the musical direction of Oliver Schneller.
In 2008 Mattar won the second prize at the Internationaler Komponistinnenwettbewerb, Germany, for Three, a composition for violoncello, bass clarinet, and piano. Mattar enjoyed a residency in Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland, in 2008.
Mattar is teaching computer music courses to both Cairo conservatory graduate students, and undergraduate students of the faculty of music education. She has organized a concert series under the name Intermedia Egypt, where exclusively contemporary music is presented.
Nahla Mattar is a member of the Egyptian Music Committee, Supreme Council of Culture, and represented it by a paper at the International Music Council Conference in Beijing in October 2007. She has been commissioned to compile and edit the book of the First Contemporary Music Biennale, Alexandrina Bibliotheca, 2009. In addition, she was the coordinator of the 1st International Conference on Music Education in Egypt in 2010.