red describes the unpredictability of a flame. Sometimes, the flame will move slowly, with smoke twisting and turning almost as if performing a sultry tango. Other times, the flame will flicker rapidly before erupting into a blazing inferno, shooting flashes of crimson, scarlet, and vermillion into the surrounding air. red is an attempt to capture the dance-like quality of a flame’s volatile movements.
Nina Shekhar (b. 1995) is a composer whose music explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter. Her works have been performed in concert by leading artists such as ETHEL, soprano Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and saxophonist Jan Berry Baker and have been featured by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, I Care if You Listen, WNYC/New Sounds radio, TUTTI Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, New Music on the Point, and Detroit REVIVAL Project in collaboration with dance troupe ArtLab J. She has also previously collaborated with the JACK Quartet, and her piece Quirkhead, about O.C.D. and mental illness, is scheduled to be featured in an upcoming PBS documentary chronicling the inaugural Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Recent projects include a new work for members of Eighth Blackbird as part of the Blackbird Creative Lab in which she participated as the 2018 Lewis Vilensky Family Fellow, a choral commission for The New York Virtuoso Singers and renowned conductor Harold Rosenbaum, an electroacoustic choreographed commission for Third Angle New Music, and a piece for recent Fischoff Silver Medalist Vanguard Reed Quintet. Other upcoming events in the fall include several performances by multi-Grammy winning super-group Eighth Blackbird on their 2018-2019 season. Nina is a recipient of the 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and a finalist in the 2017 and 2018 Morton Gould Awards.
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 serving as a composition and aural skills teaching assistant. She recently completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering and graduating summa cum laude. Nina’s previous mentors include Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, Kristin Kuster, Michael Daugherty, Erik Santos, Gabriela Lena Frank, Derek Bermel, and James Hartway.