Ms. Reena Esmail

Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Program
Field of Specialization: Music Composition
Name: Ms. Reena Esmail       
Official Address: Yale University, Graduate,
Indian Host Institution: University of Delhi,
Duration of Grant &
Start Date :
Duration: 9 months
August 2011

Brief Bio:
Composer Reena Esmail's works have been heard in performances and festivals in the United States, Canada and Europe. She holds a Bachelor's degree from The Juilliard School, and has studied composition with Susan Botti, Christopher Rouse and Samuel Adler. She has won many awards and scholarships including two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Milton and Sylvia Babbitt Award for Women Composers. Ms Esmail is currently pursuing a Master's degree in composition at the Yale School of Music, where she is a student of Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis and Martin Bresnick. As a pianist, Ms. Esmail was a winner in the MTAC-WLA Chamber Music Competition, and performed chamber music with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has studied violin with Ella Rutkovsky-Heifets, and has sung with choirs such as the New Amsterdam Singers and C4 in New York. She has also worked with a number of Indian Classical musicians, including Carnatic singer Shobana Raghavan, and Hindustani singers Priya Kanungo and Mosami Shah. She is the conductor and arranger for Yale's Hindi A Cappella group, Sur et Veritaal. She was on the composition faculty at Manhattan School of Music Precollege from 2008-2011, and the theory and ear training faculty there from 2006-2009. Both her composition and piano students have played in state and national competitions. The 2010-11 season included premiers of many of her recent works including commissions and performances by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Yale Philharmonia and Hindustani Classical singer Meena Shivaram, Yale Camerata, the Haverford College Choir, Duel (flute and marimba duo), and a scene from Meera, a new opera in the Hindi language on the life of Mirabai.
During her Fulbright-Nehru fellowship Ms. Esmail will be exploring points of intersection between Hindustani classical music and Western classical music. Through her work with renowned sitar player, Gaurav Mazumdar as well as other Hindustani musicians, she hopes to not only develop her knowledge and dexterity in the practice of Hindustani music, but to work with Hindustani musicians to create new works that are inspired by both traditions.