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Miriam Gerberg is an ethnomusicologist, composer, performer and educator with specialties in Middle Eastern & Japanese musics, and applied ethnomusicology. Her graduate study was at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She has studied Arabic classical music with Simon Shaheen, George Sawa, Jamal Sinno, and AJ Racy, and Japanese koto with Michiyo Yagi, Masayo Ishigure and Ikuko Yuge. She was Director of Outreach in UCLA’s Department of Ethnomusicology from 1998- 2002 and has been teaching world musics at Hamline University since 2005. She also founded the Minnesota Global Arts Institute which produces world music concert series, workshops and residencies. Miriam regularly performs world musics, recently with her Middle East group Ensemble Mezze and traditional Japanese koto with Green T Productions.
She has written commissions for chamber orchestra, opera, music theater, theater, choirs and for dance which have been performed across the U.S., in Israel, Palestine, Holland, Australia, Japan and Sumatra. As a music theater composer she has worked on productions & had original works produced at theaters, colleges and opera companies in Minnesota, Connecticut, Washington State and New York. Her concert compositions have included commissions written for, among others: Taiseer Elias of El F’waar, Israel, Michiyo Yagi of Tokyo, Ben Pasaribu of Medan, Sumatra, the Minnesota Opera Co., the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Schubert Club.
Miriam’s teaching style can be best described as holistic. She believes strongly in allowing students to experience the material in many different modalities as a way to more fully integrate the information. This means listening, viewing, reading, discussing, analyzing and hands-on playing & moving to the music. Because her courses at Hamline focus on music of different cultures, she also places a strong emphasis on meeting and observing musicians from these cultures.
“Music is something which human nature cannot do without.”
― Confucius, The Book of Rites
Awards and Recognition
For her musical work, Miriam has received numerous awards and grants including:
Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board (artist awards and traditional arts grants), a Next Step Artists Grant (Metropolitan Regional Arts Grant) and Meet The Composer Inc. Program Grants.
Asia Pacific Arts Exchange Fellowship from the Center for Intercultural Performance at UCLA, funded by the Ford Foundation, an Arts International Artist Exploration Fellowship and a McKnight Foundation Composer Fellowship Awards such as the Eli Wiesel Composition Awards in Arts & Culture from the Hillel Foundation, music scholarships from the Arab American Arts Institute, Brooklyn Opera Theatre's Chamber Opera Award, Composer in Residence at Hilai (The Israeli Center for the Creative Arts) & a 416 Cedar Cultural Center Commission
Sample Press Reviews on Miriam’s work has included:
“The (2001: Space Odyssey) production's MVP is composer and sound designer Miriam Gerberg, who reimagines the film's otherworldly soundtrack for traditional Japanese instruments. Gerberg's stunning work is reason enough to hear this show—and there are
plenty of reasons to see it, too.” - Vita MN
“Miriam's musical work speaks a special language of its own...the music is intoxicating. ... she is also working with creative artists of Eastern music and though they all speak different languages, the language of her music has overcome all barriers."- Hagalil Newspaper, Maalot, Israel