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Sarah Kirkland Snider

Born: 1973

Nationality: American

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Photo © Willy Somma


Deemed "one of the decade's more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers" (Pitchfork), 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 both the structural and poetic, Snider's music draws upon a variety of influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling.

Snider's works have been commissioned and performed by some of the most prestigious orchestras, ensembles, and soloists throughout the world, including the San Francisco, Detroit, Indianapolis, and North Carolina Symphonies, the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, and the American Composers Orchestra; violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, percussionist Colin Currie, and vocalist Shara Nova (formerly Worden); Ensemble Signal, The Knights, yMusic, and Roomful of Teeth, among many others. Her music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at festivals including BAM Next Wave, Aspen, Ecstatic, Sundance, NY Festival of Song, and Zurich's Apples & Olives. Penelope, her song cycle for mezzo and orchestra (or chamber ensemble), has been performed over forty times in the United States and Europe.

The 16/17 season will feature premieres and performances including the US premiere of Unremembered, inspired by the poems and illustrations of writer/visual artist Nathaniel Bellows, with Padma Newsome, Shara Nova, and D.M. Stith on the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's acclaimed Liquid Music series, followed by tours of the work in the US and Holland. Additional highlights include the world premieres of a new work for violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and a collaborative commission for female vocalist and string orchestra, and a performance of her large orchestral work, Hiraeth, by the North Carolina Symphony at the Kennedy Center. Premieres of commissions set for future seasons include Requiem for the Endangered, a mass for Trinity Wall Street Choir and NOVUS; and The Living Light, an opera co-commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and Opera Cabal.

New Amsterdam Records has released two critically-acclaimed full-length albums by Snider: Unremembered (2015), an hour-long, thirteen-part song cycle for seven voices, chamber orchestra, and electronics, and Penelope (2010), a J. Paul Getty Center-commissioned song cycle with lyrics by playwright Ellen McLaughlin. Unremembered was named one of the Top Five Albums of the Year by The Washington Post and The Nation. Penelope was named No. 1 Classical Album of 2010 by Time Out New York and was one of NPR's Top Five Genre-Defying Albums of 2010.

In addition to her work as a composer, Snider is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of New Amsterdam Records, a Brooklyn-based independent record label. She has an M.A. and A.D. from the Yale School of Music and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
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