Badie Khaleghian

The music of Iranian-American composer Badie Khaleghian has been called a “well-crafted, attractive modern score” (ARTS ATL). His compositions are wide-ranging in influence and inspiration, encompassing solo, chamber, orchestral, and electro-acoustic works. Khaleghian’s music is influenced by his Middle Eastern background, his social justice activism, and his passion for collaboration. His recent works explore the idea of defining self-identity through close collaboration with musicians, artists, and scientists. Khaleghian’s music has been performed in Iran, the United States, Austria, Italy, and Canada. Due to his religious background, he was banned from public higher education in Iran, but he studied, taught, and created a music major for persecuted Bahá’ís in Iran. In 2014 he came to the US as a religious refugee. In the US, he received his bachelor's and master’s degree in music composition from the University of Georgia, and currently pursuing his DMA in music composition at Rice University.

Caroline Owen

A native of Atlanta, GA, pianist Caroline Owen frequently performs as a soloist and collaborator. She has played in venues across the U.S. and in Europe, including the Wiener Saal and Solitär at the Mozarteum (Salzburg).

After winning the 2018 Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta Competition, Owen received a scholarship to study at the Mozarteum, where she worked with Dominique Merlet and Christopher Hinterhuber. She returned to Salzburg in February 2020 to compete in the live rounds of the 14th International Mozart Competition. She was also a semifinalist at the International Keyboard Odyssiad and won the 2019 Florida MTNA Young Artist Competition. Owen was invited to perform at the 2018 American Liszt Society Conference and has appeared as soloist with the Furman University Symphony Orchestra and, most recently, the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra for the premiere of Donald Yu’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Owen has participated in Atlantic Music Festival’s Summer Piano Institute (2018), the PianoTexas Young Artists Program (2019), and the Prague Piano Festival (2019), during which she gave a performance at the Russian Consulate in Prague. She has worked with distinguished artists and teachers such as Marvin Blickenstaff, Lucille Chung, Richard Goode, Douglas Humpherys, Martin Katz, Vincent Larderet, Julian Martin, Pascal Rogé, Sandra Shen, and Dina Yoffe in masterclass settings and had additional studies with Philippe Bianconi, Joel Hastings, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Louis Nagel, Elizabeth Pridonoff, Ann Schein, and Boris Slutsky, among others.

With a background in dance, Owen has a deep interest in interdisciplinary projects. She particularly enjoys combining her passions for music and dance in her ongoing collaborations with Houston-based composer Badie Khaleghian. In 2019, Owen and Khaleghian produced a multimedia work for solo piano and dance entitled Life Suite, and they will be premiering a new work, Electric Sky Blue, for piano, dance, and interactive intermedia in spring 2022. Owen also enjoys research opportunities and the promotion of both new and lesser-known compositions, most recently programming works by Vítězslava Kaprálová and Florence Price in concerts.

Owen is currently pursuing graduate studies under David Kalhous at Florida State University, where she is also an instructor of Group Piano. Her other primary teachers have included Liza Stepanova, Derek Parsons, and Jody Smith Parrish. Outside of making music, Caroline enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.