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Celebrating New Music for the Cello – New York Women Composers Spotlight: Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Featured Artist: Niloufar Nourbakhsh

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight Niloufar Nourbakhsh.

Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Excerpt from her bio:

“Composer, Pianist, Laptopist, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, is grateful to live and work as an artist in collaboration with different people in the world, through different mediums and forms.

The inspiration for her compositions can vary from a single moment of joy and laughter to intense political situations that shadow millions of people. Community is central to her existence and artistic process. She is grateful for having multiple artistic families, including the Iranian Female Composers Association – IFCA, Emruz Festival, and Ensemble Decipher.

Her name in Persian means a water lily that gives light.”

Featured Work: “Veiled” for cello and live electronics

This work was commissioned by Grammy-nominated cellist and activist Amanda Gookin for her Forward Music Project. Gookin released it on her album Forward Music Project 2.0: In This Skin on 19 November 2021,

“a world-premiere recording promoting feminine self-expression and empowerment . . .” – Bright Shiny Things


  • Title: Veiled
  • Composer: Niloufar Nourbakhsh
  • Year of Composition: 2018
  • Instrumentation: cello and live electronics
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 8 minutes
  • Number of Measures: 132
  • Number of Pages: 6
  • Tempo: various
  • Difficulty Level: professional
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb position
  • Techniques Employed: sul ponticello, col legno, harmonics, pizzicato, double stops, glissandos, pizzicato triple stop, tremolo, singing, live electronics processed with a DPA microphone
  • Publisher: self-published
  • Where to Purchase the Score: email the composer
  • Cost of Score*: $25 (This includes the score, max patch, and additional click track audio recording for the purpose of practicing specific electronics sections.)


Here is a performance by Amanda Gookin:

Program Notes

“I think it takes a lot of courage to stand up to something that everyone has accepted as normal. Personally, as an Iranian woman, I carry a lot of anger with me.

Anger that comes from witnessing things happen to the women in my personal life, to a larger scale, growing up in a country that actively veils women’s presence through compulsory hijab or banning solo female singers from pursuing a professional career.

For me, it’s important to transform this anger into a collective force that is both beautiful and resilient. Veiled is a tribute to those Iranian women who made such transformations possible.” – Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Niloufar Nourbakhsh Veiled

Niloufar Nourbakhsh’s Other Works with a Prominent Cello Part

  • “Cello Sonata” for cello and piano (2012) [6′] – Recording (scroll down the page)
  • “Cyclical Rabbits” commissioned by the Primavera Project for Matt Haimovitz, (2021) Solo Cello [6′]

How to Contact Niloufar Nourbakhsh

A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites, too. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.