Akshaya Avril Tucker
Akshaya Avril Tucker (b.1992) is a composer who draws inspiration from the music and dance traditions of South Asia, having trained as a cellist and Odissi dancer from a young age. She explores meditative, gestural and effervescent soundscapes, especially in her works for strings. Her music has been performed by Brooklyn Rider, A Far Cry, members of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Salastina Music Society, Duo Cortona, Third Coast Chamber Collective, Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak, and many others. Her recent commissions include works for Brooklyn Rider (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Bagaduce Music), Lucia Lin, Carpe Diem String Quartet, and WindSync. In 2019, she won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award.
Originally from Western Massachusetts, Akshaya is currently based in Los Angeles where she is pursuing her doctorate in composition at the University of Southern California, studying with Ted Hearne, Nina Young, and Don Crockett. She holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Music from Brown University. She is an alumna from the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music (2017-2018), and a member of the second cohort of GLFCAM’s Composing Earth, in 2022-2023.
Akshaya studied the Classical Indian dance form for nearly twenty years with Guru Ranjanaa Devi in Massachusetts. She has performed Odissi dance worldwide with Nataraj Dance Company, and has performed her own choreography at National Sawdust (2018; Brooklyn, NY) and at Luminarium Dance Company’s National ChoreoFest (2020). As a cellist, Akshaya has led an eclectic path through North Indian music, new music, and early music. In 2012, she won the Brown University Orchestra Concerto Competition, and in 2014, she studied Hindustani music on cello in Mumbai. She also studied with Professor Stephen Slawek, disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar, in Austin TX.