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.

As a high school student, Manar was very active in the music scene, directing the school orchestra at times and mentoring younger musicians in the interpretation of her own compositions.

It was when she was playing the pieces she’d written 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 scores for films, plays, musicals and the concert stage. Manar has experience staging a compact musical with her own libretto, as well as conducting original orchestral compositions. 

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 says, “The educational value of hearing your own music played back instantly is tremendous.”

Manar Hashmi – violinist and instrumentalist

Manar’s work as a composer takes considerable influence from her experience as a performer. 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 in the string quartet 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. Most recently, she performed on the viola in a movement from Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op. 13. Throughout the years, she has developed an eclectic taste and a love for connecting with other musicians through shared performance experiences.

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 2021. 

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.

Most recently, Manar was a recipient of the National School Orchestra Award.