Kirsten Volness
2024 Composer-in-Residence

Smart, transcendent, and immersive, Kirsten Volness’ emotive soundscapes integrate electronics and modern composition techniques with jazz and pop influences to create intimate and “irresistible” (San Francisco Chronicle) listening that is “nothing short of gorgeous.” (New York Arts). Each of her compositions reveals “an exquisite sound world” (New Classic LA) with disparate, suggestive musical elements woven together to create sublime atmospheres inspired by nature, myth, spirituality, and environmental and sociopolitical issues.

Volness’ music has featured at L’Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, Illuminus Boston, Tribeca New Music, and Montréal and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. Her rich commission history includes projects with World Future Council Foundation, BMI Foundation, Metropolis Ensemble, The American Opera Project, NOW Ensemble, Transient Canvas, Cambridge Philharmonic, and Ann Arbor Symphony. Volness received grants from OPERA America/Toulmin Foundation and New Music USA, the 2017 MacColl Johnson Fellowship, three Fellowships in Music Composition from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (2018, 2014, 2010), and was 2017 Composer-in-Residence at the Music Mansion.

Also a sought-after performer, producer, and a passionate promoter of multimedia, Volness is the Co-Founder, Co-Director and pianist for Verdant Vibes (Providence/PDX); multi-instrumentalist for Hotel Elefant (NYC); and Co-Director of homeless advocacy group Tenderloin Opera Company (Providence). A graduate of the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, her teaching history includes positions at Lewis & Clark, Reed College and the University of Rhode Island.

Kirsten Volness’s new work for Pierrot Ensemble & Percussion will be premiered by the 2024 Ensemble-in-Residence, Balance Campaign, at our 2024 Festival.