Described as “stark” by WNPR, and a winner of 2nd Hildegard competition, Iranian composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh’s music has been commissioned and performed by Symphony Number One, I-Park Foundation, PUBLIQuartet, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Forward Music Project, Cassatt String Quartet, Ensemble Connect, Akropolis Reed Quintet, and Calidore Quartet at numerous festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, Washington Kennedy Center, Atlantic Music Festival, Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music, SPLICE institute, New Music For String, MusLab Electroacoustic festival in Mexico, and many more. Founder and Co-director of Iranian Female Composers Association, Nilou is a strong advocate of music education and equal opportunities. In 2014, she worked as the site coordinator of Brooklyn Middle School Jazz Academy sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center. She is currently a Teaching Artist Associate for composition students of NY Philharmonic Young Composers program and teaches piano at Brooklyn Music School.
Nilou is a music graduate and a Global Citizen Scholarship recipient of Goucher College as well as a Mahoney and Caplan Scholar from University of Oxford. Among her teachers are Lisa Weiss, Laura Kaminsky, and Sheila Silver. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in music composition under the supervision of Matthew Barnson at Stony Brook University.
Composer Nicolai Jacobsen (b. 1979) finished a Doctoral degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where he studied with Arthur Gottschalk, Pierre Jalbert, and Kurt Stallmann. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance where he studied with Chen Yi, James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, and Zhou Long. He is presently an Assistant Professor of Audio Production at the Art Institute of Houston.
Jacobsen’s compositions draw from many diverse musical cultures including electronic music, jazz, progressive rock, and Asian traditional music. He has worked with members of Eighth Blackbird, New York New Music, the Enso Quartet, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
Our runner up, Eddie Borbón, is found here.