studied conducting with Maestro Sergiu Celibidache. In 1998, she formed the Divertimento Symphony Orchestra which, thanks to her remarkable efforts, is counted among the great symphonic ensembles active on a national and international level today. Zahia Ziouani fashioned the Divertimento Orchestra into a unique artistic model, developing it according to a singular and committed artistic vision.
She enjoys conducting diverse repertoire ranging from the Baroque period to the music of our time. The second half of the nineteenth and all of twentieth centuries constitute a favourite repertoire in which Zahia Ziouani likes to shape a powerful and committed orchestral sound. Particularly interested in finding the right balance between different sections of the orchestra, Zahia Ziouani cultivates an energetic and all-encompassing conducting style. The work of refining orchestral sonorities now brings her to the podiums of many renowned orchestras in France and abroad.
In 2007, Zahia became the first guest conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Algeria. She is also associate conductor of the Ensemble Instrumental Densités 93. She regularly appears alongside renowned soloists (Emmanuelle Bertrand, Raphaël Pidoux, Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, Tedi Papavrami, Xavier Phillips, Déborah Nemtanu, Sophie Koch, Ferrucio Furlanetto, Adam Laloum, Shani Diluka, Patrick Messina, Sylvia Carredu, Michel Moragues...) in prestigious venues (Paris Philharmonie, Seine Musicale, Salle Pleyel, Grand Théâtre de Provence, Olympia Hall...).
Very aware of the challenges of providing all audiences with access to culture, Zahia Ziouani devotes herself to ambitious activities and projects to raise public awareness of symphonic and operatic repertoire. In 2008, she created the Divertimento Academy to train young musicians in orchestral practice. She is also director of the Classiq’ Festival in Stains.
In respect to the entire range of her activities, Zahia Ziouani has received various distinctions: Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite in 2019, Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2014, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2012, Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite français in 2008, and Premier Prix de Musique (highest award given for her contribution to and investment in the musical life of Algeria) in 2007.
Her artistic work and engagement were highlighted in two documentaries: “Zahia Ziouani, une chef d’orchestre entre Paris et Alger” and “Zahia, un temps d’avance.” She is also the author of two books: “La Chef d’Orchestre,” published by Anne Carrière, and “Zahia Ziouani, d’une rive l’autre,” published by Arts.
A biopic about her career as a conductor, titled “Divertimento,” was released in January 2023; the film was directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar.