Nia Imani Franklin
The American Library in Paris is delighted to introduce its Composer-in-Residence program. This prestigious residency will be granted to trailblazing figures who operate at the intersection of music, literature, the performing arts, and philanthropy. Through this initiative the American Library in Paris will provide a platform for visionary composers to experiment with multidisciplinary artistic practices and to leverage their creative output as a form of advocacy. The residency also presents an opportunity for composers to explore the rich legacy of artistic connection between France and the United States and to contribute meaningfully to the Franco-American cultural landscape. We eagerly anticipate the groundbreaking creative work that will emerge from this exciting initiative!
The Composer-in-Residence program is generously supported by the Florence Gould Foundation and the American Center for Art and Culture.
Inaugural Composer-in-Residence Nia Imani Franklin is a composer and singer whose music has been performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Friction Quartet, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Previous Composer-in-Residence tenures include Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and Festival Napa Valley, where she was awarded the Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music.
Upon finishing a Lincoln Center fellowship in New York City, she won Miss New York 2018 and Miss America 2019. As a titleholder she chose to advocate for arts education. In September 2021 Nia released her EP Extended, which features an assortment of all-original R&B songs, and her orchestra piece “Chrysalis Extended,” which has 3.7 million views on her TikTok profile. In July 2022 Nia premiered her choral piece “Polaris,” which celebrates Juneteenth having recently become a national holiday in the United States. Festival Napa Valley commissioned this piece and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City performed it live.
Nia holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition and Theory from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, as well as a master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2019 she founded Compose Her, an initiative whose ongoing objective is to empower women in music. Nia is a board member of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Opera On Tap.