Manar Hashmi

About Manar

Who is Manar Hashmi?

Manar Hashmi is a composer based in Western Massachusetts and New York’s Hudson Valley. She has proven her ability to write music for numerous occasions including concerts, films, radio plays and staged theater productions of all sorts (including Zoom theater).

Manar’s compositions have been lauded as “delightful,” “action-packed” and “refreshingly unique.” Her music seems to compulsively spin a dramatic narrative; hence, she gravitates towards the process of scoring films and collaborating with storytellers of all sorts. With an artistic output spanning worlds, genres and moods; she is equally happy underscoring every mountain and molehill of an action sequence, or writing a melody for two characters who will never see each other again. 

Manar started her musical career as a violinist (actually, she played the harmonica first but ended up liking the violin a lot better), 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 and historical performance, having had the honor of performing with the Euridice Baroque Ensemble and the Bard Baroque Ensemble over the past six years. She also plays in pits for opera, ballet and musical theater, which give her ample opportunities to study the synergy of music and storytelling through various formats. 

Manar has conducted her own music, as well as Zeke Morgan’s opera “Vivisection,” and recently began conducting recording sessions and her own live film score to “The Diabolical Pickpocket” by Segundo de Chomón. She studies conducting with James Bagwell. 

A student at Bard College, Manar studies composition and film scoring, pursuing her ideal of well-rounded musicianship. Her composition teachers have been Joan Tower, Jessie Montgomery and Missy Mazzoli. Her film scoring teachers have been Mark Baechle and James Sizemore. She also studied Jazz Violin with Gwen Laster. 

Over the past seven years, Manar has directed a series of public events dedicated to reading Baroque music, during which anyone can play and anyone can listen. She has developed a portable, re-usable format requiring minimal preparation for maximum enjoyment and community involvement. 

Recent projects include:

– The (substantial) score and theme song for the absurd comedy podcast “Don’t Worry!” (written by Kiana Brizendine, Liam Stauffer and Rowan Levi)

– The incidental music for The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck’s production of “Still We Rise” 

– “We Set Sail at Sunrise” – composed for the orchestra of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, FL

– The original score for Milo Zimmerman-Bence’s film “Apologoi” – co-composed with Milo Zimmerman-Bence

– An ongoing collaboration with poet, author and playwright Magdalena Gómez

Other interests of Manar’s include sewing, photography, recycling and horses. 

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. 

In 2022, Manar was a finalist in the Coventry City of Culture Composition Competition.

Manar is a George I. Alden Scholar and a Paul J. Pacini Music Scholar at Bard College.a