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Kristin Kuster

Professor of Composition
Office: 2243 Moore

Composer Kristin Kuster "writes commandingly for the orchestra," and her music “has an invitingly tart edge” (The New York Times). Professor Kuster’s colorfully enthralling compositions take inspiration from architectural space, the weather, and mythology. She has been praised as a "wonderfully gifted composer reaching deep for meaning and expressive breadth."

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) commissioned and premiered Professor Kuster’s “lush and visceral” Myrrha for voices and orchestra in Carnegie Hall in May 2006. Her orchestral work The Narrows won the top prize of ACO’s Underwood Emerging Composer Commission by being selected from eight finalists in the ACO’s 2004 Whitaker New Music Readings. For ACO guest conductor Carl St. Clair, "all of the composers who participated in the readings were extremely gifted, but Kristin’s musical voice was absolutely distinguished."

Professor Kuster was selected for the 2007-08 American Opera Projects’ nationally recognized Composers & the Voice Series, in which she spent a year working with the company’s Resident Ensemble Singers and writing for the operatic voice. In 2007 the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) commissioned her for the Annapolis Charter 300 Young Composers Competition. In March 2008 the ASO premiered her new work Beneath This Stone, which musically captures the ebb and flow between the permanence and transience of historical renewal. She also recently received a 2007 Jerome Foundation Commissioning Program Award through the American Composers Forum for her new piece Perpetual Noon, which Boston Symphony flutist Jennifer Nitchman premiered at the National Flute Association Convention in August 2008.

Professor Kuster’s music has received support from such organizations as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Sons of Norway, the Argosy Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the Jack L. Adams Foundation, the American Composers Orchestra, the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, and the Larson Family Foundation. She has received commissions from ensembles such as the Plymouth Symphony, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the New York Central City Chorus, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Summerfest Chamber Series, 45th Parallel, Vox Early Music Ensemble, University of Georgia conductor John Lynch, the Heartland Opera Troupe, and a consortium of wind ensembles organized by University of Michigan conductor Michael Haithcock.

Professor Kuster was born in 1973, and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan, and now divides her time living in both Ann Arbor and New York City.

Kuster photo

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