Nan Avant

photo: Yulia

Nan Avant, a native of the Pacific Northwest, was brought up in a peaceful pastoral setting amidst artists on her maternal side and the rich South American heritage of Peru on her father’s side. Music was constantly playing in the background of her early years. Symphonies, musicals, South American music, Tangos, and Peruvian waltzes all contributed to her love of music. At an early age, she began studying piano and continued through high school and college. At the age of 16, she and her sister lived with relatives in Lima, Peru while their parents embarked on an adventure, riding motorcycles from Seattle to the border of Panama and Columbia. Living internationally was life enriching and opened new vistas to her as a young person. Returning to the United States, she continued her piano studies and expanded her horizons by learning to play the balalaika, becoming a member of the Seattle Balalaika Orchestra. It was also during this time in her life that she began composing music for piano. 

These early life experiences — eclectic musical listening, international living, and music study at an early age — established her identity as an Artist and became a catalyst in composing music with melodic intention. 

Avant attended Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle and earned a B.F.A. degree in Piano Performance from California Institute of the Arts. Her studies at CalArts included chamber, concerto, and solo recitals, coaching sessions with Leonard Stein, a teaching assistant of Schoenberg and Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Mel Powell, as well as master classes with Richard Goode and Aaron Copland. 

Avant is a graduate of the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program under the direction of two-time Emmy winner Hummie Mann. Further studies in composition include Jazz Ensemble, Orchestration, and Contemporary Writing Techniques at the Berklee School of Music online program. 

Avant has won awards for her music and is a four-time nominee in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Avant’s Tributum for Celtic Bagpipes and Orchestra won the 13th Annual Independent Music Vox Populi Award for Best Instrumental Song. 

Avant’s music embraces thematic and rhythmic intentions often reflecting her Latin heritage, encompassing her passion for classical, jazz, world, and ethnic music. She has collaborated with indie filmmakers throughout the United States, creating soundtracks for documentary, feature, animation, and short films. She has been commissioned by Composers and Schools in Concert, and has composed music for Burmer Music Productions LLC for concert premieres with the Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra. Avant’s concert music has been performed internationally and throughout the United States, and her music can be heard on album compilations and digital platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon music. Avant resides in Seattle WA with her husband, Walt, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Piper. For more information about Avant and her work, links to scores, audio, and albums, visit: www.nanavant.com

Albums

Legends and Light Vol. 2

Release Date: January 14, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6399
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 2 from Navona Records leaves no stone unturned. From the vast expansiveness of the open sea to the microscopic particles of our world's chemical makeup, this follow-up to 2018’s LEGENDS AND LIGHT is an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Brno Philharmonic. In this album, seven composers offer their insights into the components of our world through music, with works highlighting cultures, locations, forces of nature, and human life. While many of the pieces are arranged for orchestral ensembles, listeners will also find Scottish Great Highland bagpipes and Irish Uilleann pipes featured on the album, offering a deeply rewarding listening experience.
Discover