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Listen: World premiere recording of 'Tikka' by Nina Shekhar in Studio A

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Composer Nina Shekhar

The first studio recording of Nina Shekhar's "Tikka," a piece commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony's First Music program, recently took place in IPR's Studio A.

The New York Youth Symphony's First Music program selects emerging composers under the age or 30 to write new pieces.

Winners of First Music commissions receive a commission of between $2000 and $3000, and their new piece is given two premieres.

The world premieres of these commissions take place at Carnegie Hall, and the Midwest premieres follow at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

In 2019, Nina Shekhar (b. 1995) received the chamber music commission and composed a wind quintet called "Tikka."

The piece was supposed to premiere at Carnegie Hall in May 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans.

Instead, Shekhar's "Tikka" received its world premiere performance last month at Interlochen Arts Camp.

The musicians who gave the premiere concert performance visited IPR to make the first studio recording of "Tikka."

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(L-R) Claudia Aizaga Chávez, Kathleen Bell, Justin Phillips, Corbin Krebs and Dunia Andreu Benitez record Nina Shekhar's "Tikka" in IPR's Studio A

The members of the quintet are teaching fellows at Interlochen Arts Camp.

Claudia Aizaga Chávez, flute
Kathleen Bell, oboe
Dunia Andreu Benitez, clarinet
Corbin Krebs, bassoon
Justin Phillips, horn

Hear their studio recording of Nina Shekhar's "Tikka" below.

Nina Shekhar, "Tikka" (world premiere recording)

Read Shekhar's program notes for "Tikka" below:

The word “tikka” refers to an Indian dish in which meat or vegetables are marinated in a spice mixture. The process of marinating requires time, allowing flavors to develop over the course of several hours. This piece, Tikka for woodwind quintet, uses a similar concept in which musical motives unfold very slowly and grow throughout the course of the entire piece. Exploring the sound of breath, the piece begins with drone-like air tones in which a seed of the initial raag is planted, eventually blossoming into an expressive, dense texture. Harmonic content and musical gestures “marinate,” taking their time to develop so that each instrument’s “flavor” can fully bloom by the end of the piece.

Stefan Wiebe engineered this studio recording.

Composer Nina Shekhar's name is pronounced “NEE-nuh SHAY-ker.”

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Dr. Amanda Sewell is IPR's music director.