Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Photo by: Michael Yu

Cyclical Rabbits (2021)

PRIMAVERA II the rabbits

from the composer

As I looked at Charline Von Heyl’s reimagination of Primavera, I noticed several elements that repeat in her work such as traces of a circular brush movements, use of collage, and translucent colors. But one of the most jarring and interesting elements were the rabbits. I noticed them in this specific painting, and realized that they appear in other paintings as well. I understood the rabbits as a symbol of life, and most importantly as a symbol of the never ending and evolving circle of life. In Cyclical Rabbits, I tried to depict this circle through arpeggiation of two chords that are both essentially derived from the slightly altered open strings of the cello in the beginning of the piece.


Described as “stark” by WNPR and “darkly lyrical” by the New York Times, a winner of the Second Annual Hildegard competition and a 2019 recipient of OPERA America’s Discovery Grant, Niloufar Nourbakhsh’s music has been commissioned and performed by Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Library of Congress, I-Park Foundation, National Sawdust Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Center for Contemporary Opera, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Forward Music Project, PUBLIQuartet, Ensemble Connect, Akropolis Reed Quintet, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Calidore Quartet at numerous festivals and venues including Carnegie Hall, and Washington Kennedy Center, Mostly Mozart Festival, Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music, and many more. A founding member and co-director of Iranian Female Composers Association, Niloufar is a strong advocate for 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 at Brooklyn Music School, faculty at Molloy College and co-director of Peabody Conservatory Laptop Orchestra. 

Niloufar 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, Matthew Barnson, Margaret Schedel, Daniel Weymouth, and Daria Semegen. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in music composition under the supervision of Sheila Silver at Stony Brook University.