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Niloufar Nourbakhsh '21
PhD Music


Where are you originally from?
I'm originally from Iran, Karaj

How did you hear about Stony Brook University? 
I learned about SBU through my composition teacher at the time (2015) Laura Kaminsy.

Why Stony Brook?
My teacher Laura Kaminsky, who knew Sheila Silver in the Department of Music, thought that Dr. Silver would be a wonderful advisor for my graduate studies. I absolutely fell in love with Dr. Silver's work, and the moment that SBU offered me a tuition scholarship, I was thrilled to start my graduate studies at SBU. 

Tell us about your SBU experience: 
My first year of graduate study at Stony Brook was quite difficult for me; however, now that I look back at my six-year journey, I see a family. One that supported me through difficult times, and challenged me to become a better version of myself. A better human and a better composer.

How has your time at Stony Brook benefited your career?
As a contemporary classical composer, the relationships that I have developed with the graduate performers at SBU are so important. I have worked with these collaborators on numerous occasions outside of Stony Brook in the new music scene.

Tell us about the comradery.
Community in the Department of Music and especially in the composition department was always very bold for me. The ensemble that we started together as graduate students, Ensemble Decipher, grew to become a professional ensemble outside of SBU, with a deep understanding of each other as musicians and as friends.

Awards & Accolades: 

2021                        Creator Development Fund Grant, New Music USA

2021                        Beth Morrison Projects’ Next Generation Finalist

2021                        US Artists International awarded to Ensemble Decipher

2020                          SUNY PACC Prize awarded to Ensemble Decipher

2020                        Artificial Intelligence Project Grant awardee – SBU CS Department

2020                        Kaleidoscope Orchestra call for scores winner

2019                        Opera America Female Composer Discovery Grant

2019                        2 nd Hildegard Commission Award  

2019                        Random Access Music call for scores winner

2019, 2020        ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Finalist  

2018                        Florida State University NMF call for scores winner  

2018                       PUBLIQuartet Access Commission Award

2018                       First Prize Winner – EDR Foundation Emerging Composers

2017                        Kaleidoscope MusArt Special Citation Award

2017                       Third Prize Winner – SongSlam New Art Song Competition

2015                       Iranian American Academics and Professionals Award

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