In 1992, eminent pianist, organist, and conductor Padma Shri awardee Handle Manuel from South India described Nina's voice with a sonority of a "crystal-clear bell." In 2010, she went on to win the Young Artist Competition in Michigan for her performance of the 'Bell Song' from Léo Delibes' opera Lakmé. Nina's repertoire spans from the Euro-American opera and art music traditions to popular contemporary world music genres. Over the years, Nina has maintained an eclectic, multi-faceted musical career as a live and recorded soloist, chorister and ensemble singer, collaborative artist, research scholar, and music educator.
Born in Chennai (formerly known as Madras), South India, Nina began studying the piano at the age of seven. That same year, she discovered her voice and passion for singing when she won first at an inter-school competition. At a time when there was no formal training for voice in Madras (Chennai), Nina took advantage of workshops conducted by visiting international opera singers. Over the years, she received certificates of distinction for voice, piano, and music theory from the Royal College of Music and Trinity College, London. She also held the unique distinction of being awarded the Lady Papworth's Rolling Trophy for her Associate (ATCL) and Licentiate (LTCL) diplomas in voice performance. After completing and winning the Silver Medal for her Masters in English Literature, she pursued an M.Phil degree; the Dalai Lama presented her with the Madras University Gold Medal for a creative, interdisciplinary dissertation. In 2008, Nina moved to Michigan to pursue a Master's degree in Voice Performance and was a winner of the Young Artist Competition in 2010. She completed a Ph. D. in Music, specializing in Ethnomusicology and a doctoral minor in voice at the Univeristy of Florida. Her performance and scholarly work have received recognition at the univeristy level by way of scholarships, fellowships, grants, and awards.
Nina has presented solo recitals all over India, Germany, and the U.S.A. A highly sought-after soloist in India, she has toured extensively with choirs and ensembles worldwide. As a member of the Gospel music double quartet--Octet Cantabile, from 1998-2008, Nina has performed and produced several albums in English and regional Indian languages.
In her role as a collaborative vocalist and session musician in India's leading film music industries--Bollywood and Kollywood-- Nina has worked with world-renowned film music composers. She has had the privilege of working with the Oscar-winning film music director of Slumdog Millionaire (2008), A.R. Rahman; her voice features on several of his Bollywood and Kollywood award-winning film soundtracks--Taal (1998), Yuva/Ayitha Ezhuthu (2004), Lagaan (2001), Shivaji-The Boss (2007), to name a few.
A research scholar, Nina has written and presented research internationally on voice, film and popular music, music pedagogy, and media. She has presented papers at several local, national, and international conferences. At the Society for Ethnomusicology International Annual Conference in 2017, Nina received the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Paper Prize and the Wong Tolbert Paper Prize for her contribution to scholarship in the fields of ethnographic research, Asian music, and Women’s and Gender studies.
Nina has served as Voice faculty at Andrews University, Michigan, and at the Berkeley Preparatory School Conservatory, Tampa. Her higher education engagements have focused on teaching survey courses in Music Appreciation, World Music, and mentoring undergraduate students at the Univeristy of Florida and the Univeristy of Tampa. A passionate educator, Nina has taught voice to all ages, levels, and abilities. A highly sought-after teacher, Nina has maintained a thriving private in-person and online voice and creative arts studio since 2003. Her students have received certificates of merit and distinction from the Trinity College of Music, London.
Apart from her performance, scholarly, teaching, and creative pursuits, Nina extends her passion for aesthetics and creativity in cooking and dabbles with photography. She is committed to helping women from all walks of life tap into their creativity to live their best lives.