Musicians Of Queens: Nina Sinikova

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If she weren’t a pianist and composer, Nina Siniakova might have been a philosopher. Her music, which is largely in the contemporary classical genre, explores the boundaries of life and love, theology and narrative.

When asked about her composing techniques, the Little Neck-based artist described a thoughtful and almost monk-like process.

“My composition process involves solitude and thinking,” Siniakova said. “Depending on the situation, a new piece can suddenly be ‘heard’ out of nowhere – some kind of sounding cloud, where you understand what the piece should be about and what kind of musical material it involves: motives, texture, harmonies.”

Her pieces reflect this process in their complexity and precision. A prolific composer, Siniakova has written pieces for a wide range of voices and instrumentations, including poetic adaptations, romantic stories and Biblical scenes.

However, Siniakova added, her pieces are not strictly solemn. She also focuses on “humor, fun, happiness and goofballing.”

Her influences mostly span the classical heavyweights, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Monteverdi, however she also cited jazz, Belorussian folk music and folk in general as important to her style.

According to Siniakova’s resume, the artist earned a bachelor’s degree in acting from the Union of Belorussian Screen Actors. She said her background in theater informs her music.

“[My music] always tells a story,” Siniakova explained. “It’s always some kind of emotional tale, just like if I had characters in a play.”

For example, her piece “From the Four Winds,” written for the Melodia Women’s Choir and four French horns, tells the Biblical story from the Revelations of the four archangels holding back the winds at the corners of the Earth.

“So I had four French horn players actually standing in four corners of the audience, and the choir spoke, whispered and sang the same phrases in four different languages,” Siniakova recalled.

Last year, Siniakova was chosen to participate in Con Edison’s Exploring the Metropolis composers’ residency program. From September to December, she worked on her craft from the grand piano room at Flushing Town Hall, and her culminating performances are upcoming this year.

Siniakova said the residence was productive. Among other works, she wrote two chamber pieces, an accordion suite and a violin concert during the program.

One of the resulting recitals, called “Spring Mix,” will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall. She will play classical, jazz and original pieces.

“I am very much looking forward to it,” the composer said of the upcoming performance. “This will be the first time ever I will be able to show everything I can do.”

Music fans can also catch Siniakova at Flushing Town Hall on May 4, where she will present a multimedia project “Sounds of Brodsky.”

For more information on the artist, visit her website at ninasiniakova.com.

Jackie Strawbridge

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