Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

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Reena Esmail

born: 11 February 1983
country: USA

Indian-American composer Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music and brings communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. Esmail’s work has been commissioned and performed by ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Kronos Quartet, Imani Winds, Albany Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, Salastina Music Society and Seattle Symphony.

Esmail was named a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music, and was the 2019 Grand Prize Winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award. Previously Esmail was a 2017–2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. She was the 2012 recipient of the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (leading to the subsequent publication of a work by C F Peters).

Esmail holds degrees in composition from the Juilliard School (Bachelor of Music) and the Yale School of Music (Master of Music, Master of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts). Her primary teachers have included Susan Botti, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, Martin Bresnick, Christopher Rouse and Samuel Adler. She received a Fulbright-Nehru grant to study Hindustani music in India. Her Hindustani music teachers include Srimati Lakshmi Shankar and Gaurav Mazumdar, and she currently studies and collaborates with Saili Oak. Her doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Finding common ground: Uniting practices in Hindustani and Western art musicians’, explores the methods and challenges of the collaborative process between Hindustani musicians and Western composers.

In addition to her work as a composer, Esmail is the co-artistic director of Shastra, a non-profit organization promoting cross-cultural music that connects the great musical traditions of India and the West. She is also the co-composer-in-residence with Street Symphony, where she works within communities experiencing homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles. Esmail currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


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