Mohammed Fairouz

To say that you're writing a symphony today is a statement, especially for a young composer like me. The challenge is to find just the right way to commandeer the age-old form, to render it fresh and vital once again within an American context.

courtesy of the artist

Not many composers under 30 years old can say they have had a Carnegie Hall premiere - or several recordings of their music. Mohammed Fairouz laughed when I mentioned that by the age of 26 he had accomplished this and more: "No, I'm only 27!" he said.

The latest from the Arab-American composer is called "Native Informant," out on the Naxos label, which features violinist Rachel Barton Pine in the title track.