Nkeiru Okoye [in KEAR roo oh KOY yeh] is an internationally recognized composer of opera, symphonic, choral, chamber, solo piano, and vocal works. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in music composition and is perhaps best known for her opera, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom; the orchestral work, Voices Shouting Out, composed as an artistic response to September 11th; and her suite, African Sketches, which is performed by pianists around the globe.
Dr. Okoye’s works defy categorization. They are known for infusing a wide range of musical styles and influences that evoke all the senses and palpably conjure context for time and place. This results in an extraordinary musical experience that transports the listener to a specific emotion, event, or reckoning. One of her most recent symphonic works, Black Bottom, demonstrates this signature style, and The New York Times named it "one of the most engrossing musical portraits of Black history in the available repertoire."
Dr. Okoye is an award-winning writer of poetry, prose, essays, and lyrics. She pens many of her own libretti and writes lyrics, but also collaborates with noted librettists and writers around the world. She is in demand as a speaker and educator, particularly about community engagement and music as an agent of change.