Sussan Deyhim

Sussan Deyhim
“Sussan Deyhim is a fascinating original voice in music and the arts. Her rich and complex vocals are warm, beautifully sung, and always surprising. I’m proud that she is and has been a member of our ‘Voicestra’ for many years.” —Bobby McFerrin

“Sussan Deyhim creates thrilling music that sounds in the ear long after you’ve left the show.” —The New York Times

"Sussan Deyhim is one of Iran’s most potent voices in exile." — Los Angeles Times

"One of the five Iranian women visionaries you need to know." — New York Times

Sussan Deyhim is an Iranian American composer, vocalist, and performance artist. She is internationally known for creating a unique sonic and vocal language imbued with a sense of ritual and the unknown. Her music remains true to the spirit of her ancient heritage while pointing to the future with a personal and poetic dramatic sensibility.

At age 13, she was part of Pars National Ballet in Tehran. The company traveled across Iran studying with master folk musicians and dancers. In 1976, she joined Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th Century in Brussels. She received a scholarship to attend Maurice Bejart’s performance art school Mudra where she was trained in multiple techniques in performing arts traditions from across the globe. In 1980, she moved to New York embarking on a multifaceted career encompassing music, theatre, dance, media, and film.

Deyhim’s wide-ranging collaborations with leading artists from across the spectrum of contemporary art have included, Philip Glass, Ornette Coleman, Bobby McFerrin, Peter Gabriel, U2, Eve Ensler, Shirin Neshat, Richard Horowitz, Micky Hart, Jerry Garcia, Joe Jackson, Rufus Wainwright, and The Bleu Men Group.

Her composition “Windfall/Beshno Az Ney” was included in U2's largest tour “360 Tour.” It was U2’s beautiful gesture to honor Neda Agha-Soltan and Iran’s Green Movement.

Sussan’s vocals can be heard on the soundtracks of Once Within A Time (Philip Glass), Argo (Alexadre Desplat), Last Temptation of Christ (Peter Gabriel), Any Given Sunday (Richard Horowitz), The Stoning of Soraya M (John Debney), The Kite Runner (Alberto Iglesias) and Unfaithful (Jan Kaczmarek), among others.

Deyhim has performed with international orchestras such as the Polish Radio Orchestra and Poznan Phil, Krakow Philharmonic and has received commissions as a composer from international ensembles such as Bang On A Can. She has performed her music at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, Royal Albert Hall, The Old Vic, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and The Met and The Broad Museums.

Her acclaimed stage production The House is Black Media Project inspired by Forough Farrokhzad’s works and life, was presented at Royce Hall, The Wallis and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2022, she collaborated with German opera composer Torsten Rasch, performing a run of his new opera The Other Woman at the Semperopera in Dresden Germany. They also collaborated on a full album of new compositions commissioned by Villa Massimo, the German Academy in Rome.

Deyhim stars in Godfrey Reggio’s (Koyaanisqatsi) new groundbreaking film Once Within a Time. She collaborated with Philip Glass on its soundtrack, co-composing multiple vocal pieces for the score.

She is currently scoring an HBO documentary on the life and the artistic journey of the brilliant Iranian visual artist Nicky Nodjoumi, directed and produced by Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder.

Her piece Meditation will be performed by the United Nations Orchestrae in New York on March 8, 2023 as part of The International Women’s Day celebrations.

Her new composition “Whispers From The Underworld” is for a virtual choir of up to 100 voices fully performed with her own voice. A process which began in her downtown New York experimental music scene since 1980.
Sussan Deyhim Gallery