Born in Damascus. Drawn to music from an early age, he studied violin with Riyad Sukar in Damascus. At the age of 19, he entered the Academy of Music in Kraków where he completed his master’s degree with honors under the supervision of Zbigniew Bujarski and his doctorate under the directorship of Krzysztof Penderecki. Jabri’s background and early interest in music alerted him to the dense histories of shared and reworked harmonic and instrumental strategies across the East/West divide.
His recent compositions emerge from this entwined history and demonstrate the range of his skills. One of his most ambitious current undertakings is the score for the opera ‘Cities of Salt,’ based on the novels by Abdulrahman Munif, with a libretto by Yvette Christianse and Rosalind Morris. Four scenes and an intermezzo were showcased at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theater as part of the Shubbak Festival in July 2015. Zaid Jabri began receiving international recognition when he won the prestigious Adam Didur Composers' Competition in Sanok in 1997 for his “Two Songs for Soprano and String Orchestra.”
Jabri was admitted to the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) in 2011. He served as Assistant Professor at the Kraków Academy of Music between 2008 and 2015 and is currently a resident composer at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a fellow at Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas and Imagination at the Columbia Global Center in Paris for the 2018-2019 Academic year. Jabri has lectured at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York City, Harvard University, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Istanbul Bilgi University, the Gdańsk Academy of Music, and the University of Victoria (Canada), as well as Alwan for the Arts in New York and the Onassis Centre in Athens. He is also committed to facilitating the careers of young musicians and composers, serving on juries for AFAC, the Adam Didur Composers’ Competition, ‘2 Agosto,’ Bilgi University, and the Gdańsk Academy of Music.