Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, February 9, 1938, and began her early musical training as a pianist in Boston with Antoine Louis Moeldner who studied with two of Leschetitzky's most illustrious pupils, Helen Hopekirk and Paderewski. Moeldner was also a teaching assistant to Ossip Gabrilovich in New York. Helen Hopekirk was a respected composer as well as pianist and served as a role model for Goolkasian Rahbee at an early age.
Goolkasian Rahbee continued her studies at Juilliard as a piano major and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria studying chamber music with Enrico Mainardi. In later years, she studied piano privately with David Saperton in New York and Lily Dumont, Russell Sherman, and Veronica Jochum in Boston.
At the age of 40, she began concentrating more seriously at composing and has since produced a large body of works for piano solo, orchestra, instrumental ensembles, percussion, and voice.
In 1985, she was elected President of American Women Composers, Massachusetts Chapter and founded its annual marathon. Her music has been performed in Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy; Japan, Korea, Latvia; Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, etc. and throughout the U.S.
As a first generation Armenian-American whose father was a survivor of the genocide, her music reflects a deep rooted ethnic background. The strong influences of her first spoken language, Armenian, and the folk music she grew up with, are important elements in her musical language. Her early love for music was sparked by her talented violinist mother.
Her older son David Alexander Rahbee, formerly conductor of the “Fidelio Chamber Orchestra” in Boston, lived and studied in Vienna, Austria for ten years, and began his conducting career. After recently receiving his DMA from Montreal University, he has accepted a position at the University of Washington in Seattle as conductor and teacher of conducting. Her younger son Adam Rahbee, a transportation engineering graduate of MIT, plays organ, clavichord and harpsichord.
Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee teaches piano privately at her home in Belmont, Massachusetts and gives workshops, lectures and master classes internationally.
Performance rights are licensed through BMI.