One of Europe's leading specialists in the creation of new classical music with and for young audiences, Omar Shahryar is an award-winning composer, facilitator and peace-maker. Recent commissions include "Displaced: A Woolwich Arsenal Opera" from producers PJ Harris and Hannah Kumari in association with the English National Opera, "Songs to Remember" for Birmingham Opera Company and the participatory concerts, "Cours, cours, cours !" and "Six Fables" for the Orchestra National d'Auvergne. Omar composed the digital mini-opera "Blue, Red, Yellow..." for English National Opera's “Finish This” programme, which has inspired over 14,000 primary school children around the UK to compose their own mini-operas. His internationally acclaimed opera about young people's reactions to violent extremism, "A Shoe Full of Stars", won the international YAMAward Prize for Best Opera for Young People 2018.
Omar has led participatory music projects for some of the world's leading opera companies and concert halls, including the Royal Opera House, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne, the Barbican Centre, the Wigmore Hall and Streetwise Opera. He has led artist trainings for the Franz-Liszt University of Music in Budapest, the Royal Opera House of Norway, the Royal Opera House of Oman and the Teatro Colón in Colombia. Currently based in Paris, Omar is lead researcher on the EU SMART Composer project, an Erasmus+ project for the European Commission investigating how best to train music professors at universities and conservatoires in entrepreneurship and digital marketing skills education.
Omar is a current board member for Tête-à-tête Opera Company and was on the steering committee of the European Network of Opera, Music and Dance Education (RESEO) between 2016 and 2020. In 2020, Omar finished his PhD thesis in the Composition of Opera for Young People at the University of York, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council