Henri Star Muhammad is a Concert Violinist, Conductor, Composer/Arranger, Studio Recording Artist, Author, and Scholar.
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, his parents began his violin studies when he was seven years of age. He continued his study with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the age of 16 with faculty of the Eastman School of Music. Graduating with honors in music from the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, Mr. Muhammad attended and graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. Henri completed advanced violin studies with the late violinist, conductor, and composer Maestro Charles Veal.
Henri has performed all over the country, and has received numerous awards and recognition. He performs regularly with the Gateways African American Classical Music Festival Orchestra and with the Harlem Symphony Orchestra. Henri has performed some of the most advanced and technically challenging pieces in violin literature including the works of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, and is noted for his fresh and innovative approach to classical music composing and performing his own original cadenzas to the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos. Henri also plays a number of secondary instruments including electric guitar, piano, and vocals, and heads up an “eclectic rock orchestra” under the name “The Henri Star Orchestra” which features what Henri calls the “modern classical music” of Michael Jackson, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, and others.
During Henri’s classical music and violin study, he often found himself to be the only Black and minority musician in the various orchestras he was selected to perform with. Being instilled with a strong sense of community service and ‘giving back’, during college Henri volunteered with the Eastman School of Music Community Outreach Program and the Jamaica Orchestra for Youth (JOY), on the island of Jamaica. In 1999, a year after graduating and less than a month after his wedding, he co-founded with his newlywed wife Isabel, Muhammad School of Music (MSOM). Together they have worked to inspire Black and minority youth to take an interest in classical music. One of their goals is to establish institutions throughout America to make classical music study more accessible to young people. For the school’s 10th anniversary, Henri’s vision was fulfilled in a monumental and historic gala concert which featured the students of MSOM performing side by side with the Grammy award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Henri performing the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto and conducting Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
Now in its 20th year, Henri S. Muhammad and MSOM continues to serve students from Buffalo, the larger Western New York region, and Toronto (Canada), in addition to students who travel into Buffalo from all over the country. MSOM also provides violin classes at numerous schools throughout the City of Buffalo and community outreach programs. The MSOM Chamber Players and Maestro Henri L. Muhammad have performed nationwide, and have appeared in several television, radio, newspaper, and magazine features, as well as, CD and video recording projects.
Henri comes from a long line of trailblazers, including his father who was amongst Buffalo’s first Black fire fighters, and his aunt and first black model to grace the covers of international fashion magazines, Supermodel Beverly Johnson. Henri’s works show his continued commitment to make similar historical inroads with classical music and young people all over the country. Henri completed his Masters of Science in Education degree, designing the Muhammad School of Music Curriculum which is used by hundreds of students studying Mr. Muhammad’s distinct violin method. In addition to performing Mr. Muhammad presents masterclasses, workshops, lectures, has written several published articles, and serves on the board of numerous artistic and community organizations. Contact Henri Star Muhammad for performances, seminars, guest speaking, and master classes.
Call or write to:
Henri Star Muhammad
Muhammad School of Music
P.O. Box 936
Buffalo, New York 14205