Recipient of the 2008 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Keeril Makan has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Foundation, the Gerbode Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Meet the Composer, and ASCAP. His commissions include ones from the Bang on a Can All-Stars, American Composers Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall. Makan's work has been featured at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco and the MATA Festival in New York, and internationally at the Gaudeamus Festival in the Netherlands, Le Domaine Forget in Canada, and Voix Nouvelles in France. His baritone saxophone solo Voice within Voice appears on Brian Sacawa's CD American Voices on Innova. The first CD of his music, In Sound, was released on the Tzadik label in June 2008 with performances by the Kronos Quartet and Paul Dresher Ensemble.
Trained as a violinist, Makan received degrees in composition and religion from Oberlin. He completed his PhD in composition at the University of California–Berkeley. Outside the US, he spent a year in Helsinki, Finland, at the Sibelius Academy on a Fulbright grant. Having been awarded the George Ladd Prix de Paris from the University of California, he also lived for two years in Paris, France. Makan is Assistant Professor of Music at MIT and makes his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.