Kurt Rohde_Jeanette Yu-Color adjusted
Kurt Rohde, photo by Jeanette Yu.

The music of composer and violist Kurt Rohde has been described as being “filled with exhilaration and dread. It’s a mirror of our times, It’s dark music, lit up by peckings, clackings, snaps and slides. It sounds eerie, but lyrical; sustained, but skittish; free-form, yet dancing.” (San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin.)

Violist and composer Kurt Rohde is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize, and a 2015 Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received commission awards from New Music USA – Commissioning Music/USA, the NEA, and the Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations. Mr. Rohde recently completed new works for the ZOFO Duet, the Lydian String Quartet, eighth blackbird, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Scharoun Ensemble, pianist Genevieve Lee, and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Kurt is currently working on a few opera projects: one with writer Dana Spiotta and artist David Humphrey, another with poet Paul Mann and the Eclipse Quartet, and an adaptation of José Saramago’s novel Death With Interruptions for soprano Nikki Einfeld and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Mr. Rohde is also collaborating on an ongoing installation project with artist and filmmaker Shelley Jordon. His 2012 CD, ONE – chamber music of Kurt Rohde, was released by Innova Recordings, and his 2005 CD, Oculus – music for strings with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, was released on the Mondovibe label. Kurt will be in residence at Copland House in the Summer 2014 where he will work on new works for cellist Michelle Kesler (a cello concerto commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition), and a new work for pianist Genevieve Lee (a new work for speaker, toy piano and harpsichord commissioned by the Fromm Foundation).

A Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of California at Davis Department of Music, where he is co-director of the Empyrean Ensemble, Kurt is a violist with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and was a member of The New Century Chamber Orchestra between 1994-2014. Mr. Rohde was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2012–13. Mr. Rohde is a graduate of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Curtis Institute of Music and SUNY Stony Brook, and has attended the Montalvo, Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Kurt Rohde lives in San Francisco with his partner Timothy Allen and their labradoodle Ripley.