Who is Manar Hashmi?
Manar is primarily a composer. She is also a violinist, writer, and creator.
Manar Hashmi’s compositions have been lauded as “delightful,” “action-packed” and “refreshingly unique.” As a violinist, she has touched many audiences with her performances of music ranging from Vivaldi and Bach to popular songs. For Manar, open-mindedness and exploration are key to being a well-rounded and fulfilled musician.
Manar Hashmi – composer
Writing music is the thing that connects Manar with the creative power of existence in a way that nothing else can.
Starting in elementary school and throughout high school, Manar was very active in the music scene, directing the school orchestra at times and mentoring student musicians in the interpretation of her own compositions.
It was when she was playing the pieces she wrote herself among her fellow student musicians that she knew that composing is her life’s work.
Manar writes music of varying styles, whose influence ranges from Baroque harmonies and rhythms to ideas of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her projects have included vocal and instrumental scores for films, plays, musicals and the concert stage. Manar has experience staging an original compact musical with her own libretto, as well as conducting original chamber music. She has written music for the plays Twelfth Night, She Kills Monsters and Silence! The Court is in Session. Most recently, she has begun composing and performing music for violin and electronics.
Bold strings and a vivid palette of percussion are hallmarks of Manar’s compositional style. She gravitates to the large orchestral sound and rich, dark textures. She records her own percussion samples from everyday items—carrots, beans, lamp switches and other exciting sources of music.
As a producer of her own music, Manar continues to be amazed and inspired by the power of music technology. She has experience using Studio One, Garageband, Logic, and Digital Performer.
Manar Hashmi – violinist and instrumentalist
Manar’s work as a composer takes considerable influence from her experience as a performer. Throughout the years, Manar has developed an eclectic taste and a love for connecting with other musicians through shared performance experiences. Having been playing violin since the fourth grade, Manar has had time to participate in a wide range of musical activities, from being first violinist for Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas to being in the pit orchestras for productions of A Chorus Line and The Sound of Music. She has performed music for a ballet, played a period instrument in a Baroque orchestra, and played in a pop band. She started seriously developing her inner violist when she performed on the viola in a movement from Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op. 13. This season, she continues performing on the viola whenever she is needed, such as in performances of opera classics and a program of Baroque music by women composers.
Manar has a passion for Baroque music that led her to organize and direct a series of Baroque Music Events. These events were rehearsals of Baroque music that were open to any instrumentalist and any audience. Instrumentalists of all ages and experience levels participated and it was a successful and wonderful community experience. Manar hopes to bring the joy of Baroque music to as many people as possible in the coming years.
Her work to create that series of events was what earned her an invitation to play in a historically informed Baroque orchestra, where she was the youngest member. Playing on a period instrument was key to Manar’s development as a performer of Early Music and as a chamber musician.
Manar looks forward to a lifetime of collaboration with great artists and connection with great audiences. She is thrilled to contemplate the vast collection—centuries’ worth—of musical knowledge that she can learn from and be inspired by as a composer and instrumentalist in 2022.
Awards and Recognition
Manar Hashmi was a winner of the 2020 Noteflight/El Sistema USA Call for Compositions Contest. To watch the video of her performance of her winning submission click here.
She was also a finalist in the 2022 Aliénor Harpsichord Commission Competition.
Manar was a recipient of the National School Orchestra Award.
Most recently, Manar was a finalist in the Coventry City of Culture Composition Competition.