The Farsi word for "refuge" is "mohajer."
Milad Yousufi is composer of the TMF commission titled "Refuge," a string quartet which receives its world premiere at our Gala. He is a pianist, composer, conductor, poet, singer, painter, and calligrapher who is deeply inspired by his Afghan culture and heritage. He is the first Afghan-influenced western classical composer.
Mr. Yousufi was born in 1995 during the civil war in Afghanistan. Under Taliban rule, music was completely banned. As a very young child, he painted the piano keyboard on paper to quietly practice. When Taliban rule was lifted, he took advantage of every opportunity to study music and art. At age twelve he was teaching painting and attending Kabul’s one music school, and he soon won an international piano competition in Germany and began performing internationally.
In Afghanistan, Mr. Yousufi taught piano, theory, and a course on Sibelius at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. When the Afghan Youth Orchestra was formed in 2011, he became the pianist and the first Afghan conductor, and he arranged music for their performances. The orchestra performed sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and New England Conservatory, where Mr. Yousufi performed as pianist.
Mr. Yousufi moved to the U.S., where he won a full scholarship to Mannes School of Music and studies piano with Simone Dinnerstein. He has composed Afghan-influenced music for The New York Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and The Refugee Orchestra Project, and he has additional commissions from the Kronos Quartet and the Worcester Festival.