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Iranian-American pianist Ava Nazar is an active collaborator and soloist. Her recent performances include those at notable venues such as the United Nations, Merkin Hall, National Sawdust, American Museum of Natural History, and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Aspen Music Festival, and the Music Academy of the West where she served as a collaborative piano fellow. Ava has been featured at Académies Internationales d'été du Grand Nancy in France and has been a prizewinner of several competitions including the National Youth Music Festival, the Biennial Piano Competition of New Music, and the Fajr International Music Festival in Tehran. 

Ava received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she worked with Donn-Alexandre Feder, and her Master’s degree in Collaborative Piano from the Juilliard School as a recipient of the Bloomfield, Garvey, and Shendell Scholarships, under the guidance of Jonathan Feldman, Margo Garrett, Andrew Harley, and Cameron Stowe. She has also had the privilege of working with many distinguished artists including Henri Barda, Jeffrey Cohen, Roger Vignoles, Rita Sloan, Anne Epperson, J.J. Penna, Diane Richardson, Franz Helmerson, and David Finckel. 

Ava enjoys her career both as a performer and an educator. She has served as a collaborative piano staff at the Juilliard School, and has taught at established music schools such as the Brooklyn Music School and Nord Anglia International School in New York. Ava is currently a faculty member at the Opus 1 music studio in the San Francisco Bay area. 


Passionate about expanding musical access across communities, Ava has worked with several non-profit organizations. She has volunteered as a pianist with the Sing for Hope organization in New York which aims at bringing art to communities in need. Additionally, Ava has served as an AmeriCorps fellow through the ArtistYear organization where she worked full-time and taught music to around 100 low-income middle schoolers in a public school in Rockaway Park, Queens. Moreover, she was able to raise funds for the school to purchase instruments needed for a music program. 


Ava’s interest in and exploration of new music have led her to work with many living composers. To this end she has premiered and performed works by different composers in the US and her home country Iran. Additionally, Ava enjoys performing at unusual/non-standard venues. She has had multiple performances at Port Authority Bus Terminal, public schools, nursing houses, and hospitals. Passionate about house concerts, she has had many performances with her longtime friend and violinist Basma Edrees through the Groupmuse platform which is an online social network that connects young classical musicians to local audiences through house concerts.

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