Sarah Kirkland Snider, Guest Composer


Recently deemed “one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers” (Pitchfork), “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” (David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer), and “an important representative of 21st century trends in composition (New York Classical Review), composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” (The New York Times), “haunting,” (The Los Angeles Times), and “strikingly beautiful” (Time Out New York). With an ear for the poetic and the architectural, Snider’s music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling. Of her orchestral song cycle, Penelope, Pitchfork‘s Jayson Greene proclaimed: “Snider’s music lives in…an increasingly populous inter-genre space that, as of yet, has produced only a few clear, confident voices. Snider is perhaps the most sophisticated of them all.”

Snider’s works have been commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the North Carolina Symphony; the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Aarhus Symfoniorkester, Britten Sinfonia, and National Arts Centre Orchestra; violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, percussionist Colin Currie, and vocalist Shara Nova (formerly Worden); A Far Cry, Ensemble Signal, The Knights, yMusic; Roomful of Teeth, Cantus, and Trinity Wall Street Choir; and many others. Conductors who have championed her work include Andreas Delfs, David Danzmayr, Andre dé Ridder, Giancarlo Guerrero, Grant Llewellyn, Rossen Milanov, Edwin Outwater, and Leonard Slatkin. Her music has been heard in concert halls around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Elbphilharmonie, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Wigmore Hall; and at festivals such as Big Ears, BAM Next Wave, Aspen, Ecstatic, Colorado, Cross-linx, Sundance, BAM’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Bang On a Can Summer, Liquid Music, 21C Liederabend, SONiC, New York Festival of Song, and Zurich’s Apples & Olives. Penelope, her acclaimed song cycle inspired by the faithful wife in The Odyssey, has been performed over forty times in the United States and Europe.

Recent world premieres include Embrace, a 40-minute orchestral ballet for the Birmingham Royal Ballet (UK) with choreographer George Williamson, at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London; Mass for the Endangered, a 38-minute work for Trinity Wall Street Choir and NOVUS NY, conducted by Julian Wachner, on text about endangered animals by Nathaniel Bellows; The Blue Hour, an evening-length collaborative song cycle for Far Cry string orchestra and vocalist Luciana Souza on poetry by Carolyn Forché. The 18/19 season world premieres will include You Must Feel With Certainty, commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum for VOX Vocal Ensemble on text by painter Hilma af Klint to celebrate her Guggenheim retrospective Paintings for the Future; a work for flute and piano for flutist Allison Loggins-Hull; and a new arrangement of Snider’s song cycle Penelope for a new staged production by Kansas City Lyric Opera. Upcoming projects include O Ecclesia, an opera on 12th century visionary/abbess/composer Hildegard von Bingen commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, with a grant from Opera America, to premiere at Prototype Festival in January 2021.

Read more about Sarah Kirkland Snider here.

Photo credit: Shervin Lainez