ASCAP’s $5,000 Nissim Prize goes to Nina Shekhar

Posted on: February 22, 2021

Composer Nina Shekhar has received this year’s ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize for her eleven-minute work Lumina. The prize, which comes with a $5,000 award, is presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work requiring a conductor that has not been performed professionally. A jury of three conductors selects the winning score; Teddy Abrams, JoAnn Falletta, and Michael Morgan served on this year’s jury. Shekhar, who is pursuing a doctorate in music composition at Princeton University, is a composer teaching artist fellow for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and is on the faculty at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Brightwork newmusic’s Project Beacon initiative. Among those who have commissioned her music are Eighth Blackbird, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony, JACK Quartet, ETHEL, violinist Jennifer Koh, and Music from Copland House. She is currently working on commissions for the Albany Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, The Crossing, 45th Parallel Universe, saxophonist Timothy McAllister, and cellist Matt Haimovitz. The ASCAP jury also awarded a special distinction to Ross S. Griffey of Houston, Texas, for Essay, a nine-minute work for full orchestra.