Tareq Abuissa is a Syrian-American composer, lyricist, and music director. Abuissa was born on October 29, 1991 and grew up in Iowa City. He studied cello and piano at the Preucil School of Music, and taught himself guitar and songwriting as a teenager. As a student at Iowa City High School, Abuissa composed a piece for his Symphony Orchestra and sat as a first-stand cellist in the 2009 Iowa All-State Orchestra Festival. He sang in several choirs, led a biweekly sketch comedy club, acted in Combined Efforts Theatre alongside special education students, and performed group improv at Iowa All-State Speech.
Abuissa set out to New York for college in 2010, studying Music and Mathematics at Columbia University. His four-movement composition Seasonal and other works of chamber music were performed by student ensembles in venues including Columbia's Miller Theatre. Abuissa developed a love of lyric-writing and musical theatre while co-composing Columbia's 118th Annual Varsity Show, The Corporate Core. He held two Lincoln Center internships: in Strategy & Business Development, then in Media Development, where he underscored two artist interview series. As a senior in 2014, he scored three Animation thesis films for USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and performed in a guitar-dance duet for a Department of Dance thesis at Barnard College.
In 2016, Abuissa moved to San Francisco as the composer, lyricist, and music director of South of Market: The Musical. This satire of the tech industry played two sold-out runs in October 2016 and 2017. In 2018, Abuissa moved back to New York to continue composing for theatre with Naked, and his band Ruby Jubilee released a self-titled debut. Abuissa works as the New York Administrator for the Society of Composers & Lyricists. He also serves as a Teaching Artist with Very Young Composers, an afterschool program of the New York Philharmonic.