Sarah Kirkland Snider
Recently deemed “one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers” (Pitchfork) and “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” (David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer), 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 the poetic, 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 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, American Composers Orchestra, and National Arts Centre Orchestra; violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, percussionist Colin Currie, and vocalist Shara Nova (formerly Worden); Ensemble Signal, The Knights, yMusic; Roomful of Teeth, Cantus, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus; and many others. Conductors who have championed her work include Edwin Outwater, Andre dé Ridder, and Rossen Milanov. Her music has been heard at concert halls around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at festivals such as BAM Next Wave, Aspen, Ecstatic, Colorado, 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 song cycle for mezzo and orchestra (or chamber ensemble), has been performed over forty times in the United States and Europe.
Recent premieres include Something for the Dark, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (“an imposing achievement…a veritable master class in the craft of contemporary music composition”—Classical Voice of America); Hiraeth, a large work for full orchestra with film by Mark DeChiazza, co-commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony and Princeton Symphony Orchestra (“Snider’s command of the orchestra is fantastic…an engrossing composition”—Indy Week); and the BAM Next Wave Festival presentation of Ouroboros, part of an immersive multimedia installation collaboration for the Young People’s Chorus of New York and ACME. Current projects include a work for violin and piano commissioned by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers; Requiem for the Endangered, a mass for Trinity Wall Street Choir and Novus NY, conducted by Julian Wachner; a new collaborative commission for female vocalist and string orchestra; and an opera co-commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and Opera Cabal.
In addition to her work as a composer, Snider is a passionate advocate for new music in New York and beyond. From 2001 to 2007, she co-curated the Look & Listen Festival, a new music series set in modern art galleries. Since 2007 she has served as Co-Director, along with William Brittelle and Judd Greenstein, of New Amsterdam Records, a Brooklyn-based independent record label recently called “the focal point of the post-classical scene,” (Time Out New York) and “emblematic of an emerging generation” (The New York Times), and praised for “releasing one quality disc after another” (Newsweek). In 2011, New Amsterdam created a separate, non-profit organization for its presenting work, entitled New Amsterdam Presents.
Born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Snider has an M.M. and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. In 2006 she was a Schumann Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. The 2013 winner of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award, Snider has also received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Composers Commissioning Fund, New Music USA, and Opera America; Yale School of Music prizes; numerous young composer honors; and in 2011, was spotlighted in the NPR feature “100 Composers Under 40.” Her teachers included Martin Bresnick, Marc-Andre Dalbavie, Justin Dello Joio, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, David Lang, and Christopher Rouse. She splits her time between New York and Princeton, where she lives with her husband, Steven; son, Jasper; and daughter, Dylan.