Katherine Balch

Katherine Balch: Composer

Described by Seen and Heard International as “spellbinding” with “glow and poise and electric tension” by The Daily Telegraph, the music of composer Katherine Balch captures the magic of everyday sounds, inviting audiences into a sonic world characterized by imagination, discovery, and textural lyricism. Inspired by the intimacy of quotidian objects, found sounds, and natural processes, she has been described as “some kind of musical Thomas Edison – you can just hear her tinkering around in her workshop, putting together new sounds and textural ideas” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Katherine’s work has been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Sinfonietta, l’Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the symphony orchestras of Minnesota, Oregon, Albany, Indianapolis, and Tokyo. She has been featured on IRCAM’s ManiFeste, Fontainebleau Music Festival, and Festival MANCA in France, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK, Suntory Summer Arts and Takefu Music Festival in Japan, and the Aspen, Norfolk, Santa Fe, and Tanglewood music festivals in the United States. Her work has been presented in major global venues including Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Winner of the 2020-2021 Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, Katherine was recently nominated by violinist Hilary Hahn for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Career Advancement Award. She has also been honored by ASCAP, BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Chamber Music America, the Barlow Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, the International Society of Contemporary Music, the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and Wigmore Hall. Her music is published exclusively worldwide by Schott Music.

Deeply committed to pursuing inclusive, engaging pedagogical practices that empower students through creative music-making, Katherine will be guest faculty at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute and IU Jacobs School of Music in Spring 2022. She has previously served on faculty at the Mannes School of Music, the Walden School and Bard College-Conservatory Prep. Currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, she counts George Lewis, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Marcos Balter among her mentors there. She is an alumna of the Yale School of Music, where she studied with David Lang, Christopher Theofanidis, and Aaron J. Kernis.

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