Who is Manar Hashmi?
Manar Hashmi is a composer. While her primary focus is on concert music and film music, Manar has written music for numerous theatrical and everyday occasions as well as music that requires no occasion at all.
Manar’s compositions have been lauded as “delightful,” “action-packed” and “refreshingly unique.” Her music tells stories; that is why she loves scoring to picture, and why her concert music seems to spontaneously spin a dramatic narrative. She relishes finding the energy in a moment and charging it until it dances; her music is infused with that energy, and a healthy helping of quirky playfulness.
That said, Manar’s music has spanned many genres and moods; she can underscore every mountain and molehill of an action sequence, or write a melody for two people who will never see each other again. She has most recently been scoring animation and loving it.
Manar started her musical career as a violinist, and along the way explored other stringed instruments whenever the opportunity arose. In addition to violin, she plays viola as needed, and has a special passion for Baroque music, which she has been studying for the past several years. Manar has conducted her own music, sings occasionally, and believes in being well-rounded at all costs and with no holds barred.
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.
Using technology to make music has always been very important to Manar, and she values being able to produce her own music and make a satisfying MIDI mockup when needed. The real fun of being a composer, though, is working with live musicians and having the music live in the wood and brass of real instruments. There is nothing like having an orchestra breathe its magic into the black dots on the page that you put there—it is intoxicating.
Manar enjoys putting together concerts, and has directed a series of events dedicated to reading Baroque music, during which anyone can play and anyone can listen.
Her latest single, Where do the Tumbleweeds Go? is on YouTube, as is an example of a live film score which she wrote and conducted. Her music is here and videos of her film work and live performances of her compositions are here.
In addition to music, Manar has a passion for sustainability, and in particular recycling systems. The lyrics of the Tumbleweed Song are a gentle request to remember where things go after the moment they are in our lives.
As she looks forward to a lifetime of collaboration with great artists and connection with great audiences, Manar 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 2023.
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.