Nina Shekhar is a composer and multimedia artist who explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter to create bold and intensely personal works.
Described as “tart and compelling” (New York Times), “vivid” (Washington Post), and an “orchestral supernova” (LA Times), her music has been commissioned and performed by leading artists including the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Albany Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Eighth Blackbird, International Contemporary Ensemble, JACK Quartet, New York Youth Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, The Crossing, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, ETHEL, violinist Jennifer Koh, saxophonist Timothy McAllister, Ensemble Échappé, Music from Copland House, soprano Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Lyris Quartet, Ray-Kallay Duo, and New Music Detroit. Her work has been featured by the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Walt Disney Concert Hall, National Gallery of Art, National Sawdust, I Care If You Listen, ScoreFollower, and WNYC/New Sounds (New York), WFMT (Chicago), and KUSC and KPFK (Los Angeles) radio.
Recent and upcoming events include performances by the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic (joined by soloists Nathalie Joachim and Pamela Z), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and her Hollywood Bowl debut with the LA Phil. Current projects include commissions for the New York Philharmonic, a multimedia work for Grand Rapids Symphony, and a children's interactive piece for Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) (sponsored by LA Phil and New Music USA). Shekhar is the recipient of the 2021 Rudolf Nissim Prize, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2015 and 2019), 2022 BMI Student Composer Award, 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 been featured by the National Flute Association, and she has performed in the Detroit International Jazz Festival and as a soloist with the USC Thornton Symphony and the Lublin Philharmonic at the Poland International Piano Festival.
Shekhar is a PhD candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University. She previously completed composition graduate studies at University of Southern California and undergraduate studies at University of Michigan, earning dual degrees in music composition and chemical engineering. She is currently serving as Composer-in-Residence of The Crossing and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s 2023-2024 Sound Investment Composer. An active educator, she recently joined the composition faculty of Mannes School of Music at The New School and is a faculty mentor for Luna Composition Lab and Brightwork newmusic‘s Project Beacon initiative. She is a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Music Fellow and previously completed her tenure as Composer-in-Residence for Young Concert Artists. She has held guest composer residencies at New York University, Colburn School, University of Colorado-Boulder, Western Michigan University, and Portland State University. She is a first-generation Indian American and a native of Detroit, Michigan.
Name note: Nina Shekhar pronounces her name as “NEE-nuh SHAY-ker” (last name pronounced like pepper “shaker”). Please note that her last name is spelled with two H’s.