Laura Kaminsky, ComposerBiography

Laura Kaminsky, Composer
Laura Kaminsky Photo 2Composer Laura Kaminsky’s works are frequently performed across the U.S. and abroad, in West Africa, Europe, Canada, China, and Latin America. Her music has been presented at Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Space, Miller Theatre, Here Arts Center, and the 92nd Street Y, among other New York venues; at Wigmore Hall (London), the Fundacion Juan March (Madrid), Naregatsi Art Institute (Yerevan, Armenia,) the American Embassy in Ghana, and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She has been a guest composer at Boston Conservatory; Mannes College of Music; Sarah Lawrence College; Wolfson Center for National Affairs at the New School; Vernon Center for International Affairs at New York University; Bard College; Oberlin Conservatory of Music; Hunter College; University of Puerto Rico; Soundfest Summer Institute (Cape Cod); International Festival of Women Composers (Sao Paolo, Brazil); Casalmaggiore International Music Festival (Italy); National Academy of Music (Ghana); Synthesis International Festival of New Music (Skopje, Macedonia); National Music Academy (Bratislava, Slovakia); Union of Composers and Musicologists/National Conservatory of Music (Armenia), among others.

Kaminsky has received commissions, fellowships, and awards as both a composer and presenter from: the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund, Chamber Music America, CEC ArtsLink International Partnerships, Kenan Institute for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, North Carolina Council on the Arts, PONCHO, Jordan Foundation, Jack Straw Productions, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Allen Foundation, King County Arts Commission, Serage Foundation, and Meet the Composer, among others. She has been a fellow at artists’ communities including the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation and the Millay Colony for the Arts.

Currently, Kaminsky is associate artistic director at Symphony Space in New York City, renowned for its Selected Shorts program, Wall-to-Wall annual marathon concerts, and Bloomsday celebrations. She serves as a member of the board of directors of Chamber Music America and has been on the boards of the American Music Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

From 2004-2008, she served as dean of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY, where she is currently professor of music and faculty-at-large for the School of the Arts. Kaminsky’s prior positions include: chair of the Department of Music at Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle), vice president for programs at Meet the Composer, director of the European Mozart Academy in Poland, director of music and theater programs at The New School, artistic director at The Town Hall, and associate director of education at the 92nd Street Y. She is also artistic director of Musicians Accord, a new music collective dedicated to 20th-and 21st-century music. As the ensemble-in-residence at City College of New York since 1984, Musicians Accord has commissioned and/or premiered over one hundred works, and recorded for CRI, Mode, and North/South labels.

Kaminsky, Laura (b. September 28, 1956, New York City). American composer of mostly chamber and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world; she is also active as a promoter.

Ms. Kaminsky studied composition with Joseph Wood at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1974-78, where she earned her BA magna cum laude in psychology. She also studied composition with Mario Davidovsky at the City College of New York from 1978-80, where she earned her MA, on a Tuch Foundation Fellowship.

Among her numerous awards are two fellowships from the Millay Colony for the Arts (1984, 1986), six fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (1985, 1989-92, 1999) and the Centrum Artist Residency Fellowship in Port Townsend, Washington (2004). She has received grants from the Artist Trust, King County, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Serage Foundation, USIA, and other organizations, as well as annual grants from Meet the Composer since 1983.

The Ahlert-Schwab Duo, the Colorado Quartet, the Degas Quartet, the Esoterics, the Fidelio Trio, the Icicle Creek Piano Quartet, the Jubal Trio, the New York Treble Singers, the Odeon Quartet, the Quintet of the Americas, the Seattle Chamber Players, and the Taneko Trio, among other ensembles, have commissioned her music.

Ms. Kaminsky is also active in other positions. She founded the new music ensemble Musicians Accord in 1984 and has since served as its artistic director. The ensemble is in residence at the City College of New York and works with David Del Tredici and his students. In addition, she served as Director of the Humanities and Film Programs of the 92nd Street Y from 1984-88, artistic director of the Town Hall from 1988-92 and Director of Music and Theater Programs at the New School for Social Research from 1993-96. She has also served as a board member, consultant or panelist to state arts councils, the American Music Center, CEC ArtsLink, Chamber Music America, the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, the Ford Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

She lived and worked in Ghana in 1992-93 and served as director of the European Mozart Academy in Poland in 1996-97. She then served as chairwoman of the music department at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle from 1999-2004 and has served as dean of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/State University of New York since 2004.

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