“Shekhar’s writing employed an unforced, effective pacing that wrapped energetic episodes around a tender passage of harmonics.”
– NEW CLASSIC LA
Nina Shekhar (b. 1995) is a composer who explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter to create bold and intensely personal works.
Described as “vivid” (Washington Post) and “surprises and delights aplenty” (LA Times), her music has been commissioned and performed by leading artists including Eighth Blackbird, International Contemporary Ensemble, LA Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, JACK Quartet, ETHEL, violinist Jennifer Koh, Ensemble Échappé, Music from Copland House, soprano Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Lyris Quartet, Ray-Kallay Duo, New Music Detroit, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra.
This season, Nina will compose a new piece for pianist Zhu Wang, commissioned by Young Concert Artists for his recital debuts in New York and Washington, DC. Later this season, the New York Philharmonic will give the New York debut of her prize-winning 2020 musical exploration of the spectrum from darkness to light, Lumina.
Her work has been featured by Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight), Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, National Sawdust, National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, I Care If You Listen, WNYC/New Sounds (New York), WFMT (Chicago), and KUSC and KPFK (Los Angeles) radio, ScoreFollower, TUTTI Festival, Blackbird Creative Lab, Copland House’s CULTIVATE, Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music. Current projects include commissions for the Albany Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, The Crossing, Grand Rapids Symphony, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), 45th Parallel Universe Chamber Orchestra, and saxophonist Timothy McAllister. Shekhar is the recipient of the 2021 Rudolf Nissim Prize, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2015 and 2019), and the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Leonard Bernstein Award, funded by the Bernstein family.
Aside from composing, Shekhar is a versatile performing artist as a flutist, pianist, and saxophonist. She has performed in the Detroit International Jazz Festival and as a soloist with the USC Thornton Symphony and the Lublin Philharmonic in the Poland International Piano Festival. She has been featured by the National Flute Association and was previously a flute student of Amy Porter.
Shekhar is currently pursuing her PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University. She previously completed graduate studies at University of Southern California and undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering. An active educator, Shekhar is a Composer Teaching Artist Fellow for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and is on faculty at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Brightwork newmusic‘s Project Beacon initiative. She served as an inaugural Debut Fellow of the Young Musicians Foundation, mentored by violinist and social activist Vijay Gupta. She is grateful to all of her mentors, including Ted Hearne, Andrew Norman, Donnacha Dennehy, Barbara White, Nina C. Young, Kristin Kuster, Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, Michael Daugherty, Erik Santos, Gabriela Lena Frank, Reena Esmail, Derek Bermel, and James Hartway.
YCA represents composer Nina Shekhar for worldwide engagements. Please contact us for more information.