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Nia Imani Franklin Awarded the 2021 Khaledi Prize 

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Ms. Franklin, a composer, singer, and arts education champion, is Festival Napa Valley's 2021 Composer in-Residence.

Festival Napa Valley today announced that Nia Imani Franklin is the recipient of the 2021 Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music.

Named in honor of the Festival's Founding Board Chair and noted vintner Darioush Khaledi and his wife Shahpar, the Khaledi Prize is an annual award given to an artist for outstanding contributions to classical music. It includes a cash grant of $10,000.

Ms. Franklin, a composer, singer, and arts education champion, is Festival Napa Valley's 2021 Composer in-Residence. Many of her original compositions were performed throughout this year's Festival, including "Afro-dite", a work or solo cello which received its world premiere featuring celebrated cellist Matt Haimovitz, and "Chrysalis Extended", a symphonic piece that received its West Coast premiere.

"I am deeply honored to receive the Khaledi Prize this year," said Ms. Franklin. "I am grateful to the Khaledis and to Festival Napa Valley for supporting and nurturing the work of emerging professional artists."

Franklin joins the distinguished roster of past Khaledi Prize winners: Aldo López-Gavilan (2017), Nadine Sierra (2018), and Sheku Kanneh-Mason (2019).

As a composer, Nia Imani Franklin has had her music performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Friction Quartet, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, among others. In addition to creating new, compelling works of art, Franklin is dedicated to empowering women in music, a mission upheld by "Compose Her," an organization she founded in 2019. Franklin was a recipient of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education, and is titleholder of Miss New York 2018 and Miss America 2019.

Franklin holds a bachelor's degree in music composition and theory from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and a master's degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.


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