Nathan Shields weaves diverse influences ranging from Renaissance polyphony to 20th-century Expressionism into a distinctly contemporary musical voice of eerie quietude and harrowing emotional intensity. His music has been praised for its “elusive luminance” (Washington Post.) Of the JACK Quartet’s performance of String Quartet #2, Timothy Hansen of American Composers Forum wrote that the work “expertly drew the listener through a prolonged period of tension before releasing in a glorious climax.”

The winner of the 2014 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shields has written for numerous performers including the JACK and Jupiter String Quartets, harpist Bridget Kibbey, pianist Michael Brown, and Music from Copland House. His works have also been performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Horszowski Trio, with commissions from the BMI/Carlos Surinach Fund, Concert Artists Guild, and American Composers Forum. Honors include the Presser Music Award, Aaron Copland Award, and prizes from BMI, ASCAP, the Juilliard School and the Japan Society of Boston, along with fellowships from Yaddo, Ucross, Copland House, and the Wellesley Composers Conference.

During the past year he was composer-in-residence at the Portland Chamber Music Festival. Other season highlights include performances by Bridget Kibbey with Decoda at Trinity Wall Street and the Metropolis Ensemble at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and by the JACK Quartet at Rutgers University.