Nia Imani Franklin is a composer, actress, and singer whose music has been performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Friction Quartet, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and many others. As Composer in Residence at Festival Napa Valley in 2021, she premiered several works and was awarded the Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Classical Music.
Upon finishing her Lincoln Center fellowship in New York City, she earned the jobs of Miss New York 2018 and Miss America 2019 where she devoted her service to arts education advocacy. In September of 2021 Nia released her EP, “Extended”, which featured an assortment of all-original RnB songs, and her orchestra piece, “Chrysalis Extended”, which has 3.7 million views on her TikTok profile. In July 2022, Nia premiered her choral piece, “Polaris”, which celebrates Juneteenth having recently become a national holiday in the United States. Festival Napa Valley commissioned this piece and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City performed it live.
Nia holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition and Theory from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, as well as a master’s degree in Music Composition from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2019, she founded Compose Her – an initiative whose ongoing objective is to empower women in music. Nia is a board member of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Opera On Tap.