Akshaya Avril Tucker
Cynthia Jackson Ford Fellow
Akshaya Avril Tucker is a composer, cellist and Odissi dancer, whose work is greatly inspired by the musical and dance traditions of South Asia. Her music has been performed by Vent Nouveau, Johnny Gandelsman and Joshua Roman. Currently pursuing her M.M. in Composition at the University of Texas at Austin, she graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 2015, and received the Madeira Award of the Brown Club of Rhode Island and a Brown University Distinguished Senior Thesis Award. She has performed Odissi dance worldwide with Nataraj Dance Company under Guru Ranjanaa Devi, and received two grants to study Hindustani music on cello in India in 2014. In 2012 she won the Brown University Orchestra Concerto Competition on cello. In 2017, she received a Rainwater Innovation Grant from the University of Texas for her collaboration with Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak. In 2018, she received an honorable mention at National Sawdust’s Hildegard Competition. Akshaya is Programs Manager at Shastra, an organization dedicated to connecting the musical traditions of India and the West. Her teachers include Yevgeniy Sharlat, Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Russell Pinkston and Shep Shapiro.