Nina Whiteman

Nina Whiteman (b.1981) is a composer writing predominantly for acoustic forces (though with a record of employing live and fixed electroacoustic media in her music), and a singer specialising in performance of contemporary and twentieth-century music.

Recent commissions from Manchester Camerata, Quatuor Danel, and Dutch accordion duo TOEAC (among others) as well as high-profile performances at the Cheltenham Music Festival, Kettle’s Yard, and the RNCM in the 18 months demonstrate Nina’s growing reputation as an engaging British compositional talent.

Since gaining a PhD in composition from The University of Manchester in 2009, her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, commissioned by the Adopt-a-Composer scheme (PRS for Music Foundation/Sound and Music/Making Music), and selected for the 2009 Sound and Music Composer Shortlist (The invention of clouds for bass flute solo, percussion, and string trio).

Many of her compositions take their inspiration from extra-musical sources including visual art (Out hunting teeth: a set of piano pieces inspired by Goya’s Los Caprichos), poetry (Distant voices: a work for 14 players, 6 solo singers, and electronics setting poems by C.P. Cavafy), and science (a cycle of cloud-inspired pieces featuring the bass flute and drawing on scientific research into clouds – ranging from an 1804 essay that first defined the cloud types, to images and data from a NASA satellite).

Nina has a record of innovative collaborations with practitioners from other art forms, including performances in Amsterdam, and at the Manchester International Festival with performance artist Michael Mayhew, singing glossolalia in artist Ron Athey’s Gifts of the Spirit, creating sound for a motion-graphics installation by James Snazell (shown in Rome, Athens, Nottingham, and Camarthen), sound for performance artist Karen McLeod, and a recent solo performance art piece for a group show 11 11 11 – in remembrance – Manchester (funded by Arts Council England).

Nina sings with Trio Atem (flute, mezzo, cello), who specialise in performances of new and recent repertoire with an emphasis on commissioning new work and cross-genre projects. Engagements have included the Bridgewater Hall (BBC Philharmonic Ink Still Wet series), Kings Place, York Late Music Concert Series, Leeds University Contemporary Music Festival, RMA student conference, and The University of Manchester lunchtime concert series.

Work in education has included leading several projects for Manchester Camerata’s Learning and Participation programme, as well as teaching at The University of Manchester, RNCM, and Lancaster University.