Aalia Hanif graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in flute performance. She was a student of John Thorne, Jennifer Gunn and Alyce Johnson, and she is currently studying with Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson.
Before Northwestern, she was a member of the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which is a diversity initiative designed to prepare young musicians for an orchestral career. In 2021, she made her solo debut with the Nashville Symphony, in Borne’s Carmen Fantasy, conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. She also was named a finalist in the 2021 New York Flute Club Competition and won a special award in the British Flute Society’s 2022 Young Artist Competition.
In fall 2022, Hanif joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as a regular member and became a substitute flutist for the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. She was appointed as principal flute of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 2022. That summer, she attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she studied with Nadine Asin, Mark Sparks and Demarre McGill. She returned to Aspen again in 2023 as a fellowship recipient.
This year, Hanif will begin her first season as a Fellow with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Along with music, she enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with family and friends. She hopes to continue to advocate for diversity in orchestras by working toward becoming an orchestral musician and helping to inspire a new generation of diverse musicians.