Nina Shekhar

Gerald Fischer Fellow


Nina Shekhar is a composer whose music explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter. Her works have been performed in concert by leading artists including Eighth Blackbird, International Contemporary Ensemble, ETHEL, Music from Copland House, soprano Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Lyris Quartet, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra and have been featured by Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight), National Sawdust, National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, I Care if You Listen, WNYC/New Sounds and WFMT radio, TUTTI Festival, Blackbird Creative Lab, Copland House’s CULTIVATE, and Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music (GLFCAM).  Along with the GLFCAM-sponsored chamber orchestra commission for Helios Chamber Orchestra (45th Parallel Universe), other current projects include performances by Eighth Blackbird on their 2019-2020 season, a new work for world-renowned saxophonist Timothy McAllister, a commission for the Lyris Quartet sponsored by LA’s HEAR NOW Festival, a new microtonal work for the Grammy-nominated Ray-Kallay piano duo, and a First Music chamber commission for the New York Youth Symphony to be premiered at Carnegie Hall and Interlochen Center for the Arts.  Nina is a two-time recipient of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2015 and 2019) and the recipient of the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Leonard Bernstein Award, funded by the Bernstein family.

Aside from composing, Nina is a versatile performing artist. As a flutist, she studied with Amy Porter and previously with Holly Clemans. Nina has previously performed in masterclasses given by flutists Claire Chase, Tim Munro, composer/flutist Ian Clarke, and electronic flute duo Flutronix. She has also premiered fellow composers’ works at the Midwest Composers Symposium and the New Music on the Point Summer Festival. As a pianist, she has performed in the Poland International Piano Festival as a soloist with the Lublin Philharmonic and studied under Tomoko Mack and previously Brenda Krachenberg. Nina was selected to perform in the Detroit International Jazz Festival with her jazz band in 2012 and 2013 as lead alto saxophonist.

Nina is currently pursuing composition graduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she is studying with Ted Hearne and Andrew Norman and serving as an aural skills and composition teaching assistant. She has also given guest lectures at Portland State University and Concordia University. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering.  Nina’s previous mentors include Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, Kristin Kuster, Michael Daugherty, Erik Santos, Gabriela Lena Frank, Derek Bermel, and James Hartway.  She is a native of Detroit, Michigan.