Hear Now Commission: Nina Shekhar

In honor of the festival’s Tenth Anniversary Season, We are proud to announce our first Hear Now-sponsored commissioned composer:

Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar’s music explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter. Her works have been performed by Eighth Blackbird, ETHEL, Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and have been featured by Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, GLFCAM, I Care If You Listen, and WNYC/New Sounds. Upcoming projects include a new work for Music from Copland House, multiple performances by Eighth Blackbird on their current season, and a commission for the International Contemporary Ensemble to be premiered at LA Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight Festival, sponsored through the National Composers Intensive. She is a recipient of the 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Award and 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award.

Check out the stunning performance of her piece Quirkhead at the 2019 Hear Now Festival by Holly Sedilos and the Lyris Quartet!

Nina’s commission will be to compose a piece of about 10 minutes for the Lyris Quartet.


The Lyris Quartet is a Los Angeles based string quartet.  The quartet was created from a conversation between violinist Alyssa Park, who has enjoyed an illustrious career as an international soloist and is the youngest prizewinner in the history of the Tchaikovsky International Competition and violinist Shalini Vijayan who has built a career as an advocate of modern music as a member of Grammy nominated groups, Absolute Ensemble and Southwest Chamber Music.  Drawing on their diverse backgrounds, these musicians chose to create a string quartet that could encompass their love for both standard and modern repertoire and commission works from living composers.  Violist Luke Maurer and cellist Timothy Loo joined the group and Lyris was formally founded in 2008.