Pranav Sivakumar (they/them) is a composer of new music currently based in Tallinn, Estonia. Described as “soothing”, “well-sounding”, and “forming a beautiful whole” by Estonian cultural magazine Sirp, Sivakumar’s works explore themes of space and texture, incorporating sounds from the natural world, influences from the Carnatic music of southern India, and the contrasting extremes of fullness and silence.

A recipient of the Eisner Prize in the Creative Arts, Sivakumar is currently pursuing their MA in composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, studying with Tõnu Kõrvits and Helena Tulve; they completed their undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley under the tutelage of Ken Ueno. Their music has been performed by the YXUS Quartet, members of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, violinist Dennis Kim, flautist Sarah Brady, cellist Kivie Cahn-Lipman, and guitarist Evan Taucher, among others. Sivakumar also studied with Robert Aldridge and David Dzubay at the 2019 Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and was named a Composition Fellow of the 2020 and 2021 Cortona Sessions.

Prior to their compositional career, Sivakumar pursued research in astrophysics for six years. During this time, they were a member of the Dark Energy Survey collaboration and won several awards, including the Google Science Fair’s Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award and the Davidson Fellowship. Their research efforts were recognized by President Obama at the 2015 White House Astronomy Night.

Past Recognition

White House Astronomy Night, Oct. 2015

President Barack Obama greets White House Astronomy Night participants including Pranav Sivakumar, 2015 Google Science Fair virgin Galactic Pioneer Award winner, in the China Room of the White House, Oct. 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Google Science Fair, Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award, Sep. 2015

Pranav Sivakumar with Sir Richard Branson at the unveiling of VSS Unity, Mojave Spaceport, February 19, 2016

Davidson Fellow, Sep. 2017

2017 Davidson Fellows

Runner-up, National Spelling Bee, May 2013

Pranav Sivakumar participates in the finals of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 30, 2013 at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

New music for the 21st century

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