Hailed as an ‘incredible artist’ by the legendary Hans Zimmer, Suad Bushnaq is a multi award-winning film music composer whose versatile style spans a number of genres, and whose music, described as ‘reflective and touching’ by the BBC, has moved listeners to their core. With more than 40 film credits to date, she scored award-winning features & shorts that screened at festivals like Locarno, Hot Docs, and Edinburgh. She was competitively selected for the Festival de Cannes ‘Spot the Composer’ programme, and the SESAC film scoring residency in LA where she was mentored by A-list composer Christophe Beck. Her awards include a Hollywood Music in Media Award and a Best Original Score at the Fine Arts Film Festival in LA amongst others. She holds a Bachelor in Music Composition from Canada’s top music school, McGill University, and is an alumnae of the prestigious and highly competitive Canadian Film Centre Slaight Music Residency. A Toronto-based,dual Canadian-Jordanian citizen of Bosnian, Palestinian, and Syrian roots, Suad is currently working on releasing her AFAC supported album, 'The Edge of Life: Soundtracks from Arab Cinema’, was recently nominated for a Canadian Screen Award (Canada’s equivalent to a BAFTA) for her score for the feature film Jasmine Road by Warren Sulatycky, and just wrapped up the score for Hanging Gardens, a feature film by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji, which will have its world premiere at the 79th edition of the Biennale di Venezia 2022.
Hailed as an ‘incredible artist’ by the legendary Hans Zimmer upon hearing her orchestral music, Suad Bushnaq is an internationally acclaimed, multi award-winning film and concert music composer whose versatile style spans a number of genres, and whose music, described as ‘reflective and touching’ by the BBC, has moved listeners to their core. With more than 40 film credits to date, she scored award-winning features & shorts that screened at festivals like Locarno, Hot Docs, Edinburgh, Dubai, and Clérmont -Ferrand to name a few. Suad was competitively selected for the Festival de Cannes ‘Spot the Composer’ programme, and the SESAC film scoring residency in LA where she was mentored by A-list composer Christophe Beck. Be it orchestral, atmospheric, or minimalist, Suad’s distinct sensitivity to picture and love for cinema make her an in-demand composer who ensures that each film gets its unique identity through the score. Ethnically speaking, Suad is a dual Jordanian-Canadian citizen of Bosnian, Syrian, and Palestinian roots. She is based in Toronto but can be found travelling the world. Most recently, she scored Hanging Gardens, a feature film by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji, which will have its world premiere at the 79th edition of the Biennale di Venezia 2022.
Suad won the Hollywood Music in Media Award-Exceptional Instrumental Performance for her Orchestral piece ‘Tomorrow’, and was nominated for the same awards in 2019: Short Film Live Action Score for A Very Important Appointment, and 2018: World Music for The Road to Jenin. She won the Beyond Music Foundation Creativity Award (2019 by Grammy-laureate Larry Klein), won the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival Award (2019 Best Foreign Score), won Best Original Score for the feature film Jasmine Road at the Fine Arts Film Festival of the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art in LA, & won the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture grant for her album 'Soundtracks from Independent Arab Cinema' (2019). In 2022, Suad was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award (the Canadian equivalent of a BAFTA or César) for her original score for the feature film Jasmine Road by Warren Sulatycky, and won the Best Original Score for ‘Incorrigible: The Story of Velma Demerson’ at the Hollywood North Film Awards. She was also selected in that same year as the recipient of the 2021 Kathleen McMorrow Music Award; a merit-based award presented once a year to a Canadian composer by the Ontario Arts Foundation. She was competitively selected for & completed the Canadian Film Centre Slaight Music Residency, as well as the Krakow Film Music Festival SynCamp. In August of 2022, Suad was nominated for the distinguished Louis Applebaum Composers Award; an award presented by the Ontario Arts Council.
Her orchestral music was performed by the Belgian National Orchestra, Vermont Symphony, the National Arab Orchestra, Friedenauerkammerensemble, Luneburg Symphony, The Bergara Symphony Orchestra, the British Police Orchestra, & the Syrian Expat Philharmonic (of which she’s a composer in residence) to name a few, in venues like Konzerthaus Berlin, Philharmonie Berlin, BOZAR, Malmo Live Konserthus, & Elbphilharmonie. In 2021, her 20 minute cello concerto, Sampson's Walk on Air, commissioned by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and performed live at the Flynn Center for the Arts, received a five minute standing ovation from all 1400 audience members in attendance. Her instrumental music was performed in Finland, Norway, Hawaii, Jerusalem, & Carnegie Hall. She brought some of her film scores to the concert stage.She was commissioned by Betty Productions (London Olympics 2012) to compose music for the UAE 48th official celebration, which was recorded by the London Symphony & played at a huge audio-visual show in December 2019 with 30K attendees.
She earned a scholarship & holds a Bachelor in Music Composition from Canada's top music school, McGill University, & studied at the Higher Institute of Music in Syria. She gave film-scoring lectures & workshops in schools, universities, & festivals in the US, Canada, & Oman, & moderated panels for the DOC Institute & the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
She raised thousands of dollars for the Syrian Kids Foundation & the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through non profit music album sales. She was an invited composer to the joint concert between the Orquesta Sinfonica de Bergara & SOS Racismo in the Basque country, raising thousands of euros for El Sistema Greece's children refugee music integration program.
Suad gave interviews in four languages to BBC, NPR, Der Tagesspiegel, Radio Canada, Mother Jones, Radio Euskadi, & France Info. She speaks Arabic, English, French, Spanish, & holds an additional Bachelor in Education. She is a Screen Composer's Guild of Canada Board Member, a member of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, & is publicly represented by Core Music Agency.