Turn The Spotlight Announces Prize Winners for 2020-21

Taking home the $2,500 Spotlight Prize was composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh for creating ANIM composition residency. In conjunction with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Nourbakhsh mentored seven young female instrumentalists in Kabul to compose music for members of the Zohra Orchestra.

These pieces premiered on New Music USA’s youtube page and is available to watch:

This program was made possible with the partnership of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) and support of Turn the Spotlight Fellowship, New Music USA, New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program, and members of the Zohra Orchestra. Site Coordinators: Dr. Benjamin Wu, and Qudrat Wasefi Video and Audio Recordings Engineers: Qudrat Wasefi and Najib Angar Video Editor: Qudrat Wasefi Audio Mix and Master: Niloufar Nourbakhsh and Siavash Kaveh Creative Director: Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Since August 2021, all members of the Zohra Orchestra have been evacuated alongside other students, faculty, and staff of ANIM.

The Cheswatyr Foundation Commissions

The Cheswatyr Commissions: a Composers Now project with funding from the Cheswatyr Foundation

Inaugural Year 2022: Celebrating the Legacy of Cece Wasserman with a new work by Niloufar Nourbakhsh for the International Contemporary Ensemble

For more information, please click HERE

Forward Music Project 2.0

Amanda Gookin’s Forward Music Project 2.0: In this Skin is released on Bright Shiny Things. Niloufar’s “Veiled” for solo cello and live electronics is included in this compilation. For more information, refer to the following LINK.

Nilou featured in the Washington Post: 21 for 21

21 for ’21, Composers and performers who sound like tomorrow:

The 29-year-old pianist and composer (and Ensemble Decipher member) first popped up on my desktop as a contributor to the Library of Congress’s pandemic-response Boccaccio Project. Her entry, “A Shared Solitary” — a searing solo work for violin and electronics, performed by Jannina Norpoth of the PUBLIQuartet — felt like a line drawing of a far more complex musical universe.


Akropolis Reed Quintet: Ghost Light Album

New works by Stacy Garrop, Michael Gilbertson, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Theo Chandler, and Jeff Scott with the poetry of Marsha Music.

The Detroit-based Akropolis Reed Quintet, whose playing has been described as “shot through with tenderness and grace” by the San Francisco Chronicle, releases its fourth album on April 9 on New Focus Recordings. The record, entitled Ghost Light, is an exploration of darkness and light, life-cycles, colors and spectrum, and how the past surrounds us in our daily lives.

Akropolis Reed Quintet, Unfinished Side



This month, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN and American Composers Forum will host a series of Zoom roundtable discussions on gender equity in the contemporary arts as part of our shared UNEVEN MEASURES series. Through interviews, collaborative essays, artist-curated playlists, and live discussions, UNEVEN MEASURES marks the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment while recognizing the complexity of women’s suffrage and barriers to participation that still exist today.
The last roundtable, ADVOCATING FOR GENDER EQUITY, will take place on Monday, October 19, 2020, 5:00pm EDT, 4:00pm CDT, 3:00pm MDT, 2:00pm PDT. The panelists will be: Sarah Cahill, Terri Lyne Carrington, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Nirmala Rajasekar, and Aiden Kim Feltkamp.

Zoom registration link: https://zoom.us/…/tJAkdO6vpjksHNSIuN7-UxtBE77-uPrhjIxR