The music of Kurt Rohde (b. 1966) has been described as "... 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)

Mr. Rohde has received the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He received commissioning awards from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition (2003, 1999), a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (2003), the 2002 Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, a commission from the Hanson Institute for American Music (2001), the Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2001), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1999- 2000), and commission awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation of the Library of Congress, and the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University. He was the winner of the Lydian String Quartet Composition Contest and received First Prize in the 2004 International Society of Bassists Composition Contest. The New Century Chamber Orchestra received a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music to record a compact disc of Rohde's music for strings.

Mr. Rohde was guest composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference in 2006, and composer in residence at the Yellow Barn Music Festival in the Summer 2004. His new work for violinist Iris Stone, Seeing Things, was premiered in November 2006, and Mr. Rohde premiered his new viola concerto White Boy/Man Invisible with the American Composers Orchestra in March 2007. Upcoming commissions include a new work for violinist Axel Strauss in 2007-08 and work for the Volti choral ensemble in February 2008, a work for solo violin for Iris Stone in the Spring 2008, a new string quartet for the Cypress String Quartet in the Spring 2008, and a piano concerto for pianist Sara Laimon and the ensemble Sequitur in 2008-09. In addition, Mr. Rohde has been composing a set of etudes for solo piano for different pianists.

Mr. Rohde is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and SUNY Stony Brook. He studied composition with Donald Erb, Ned Rorem and Andrew Imbrie, and viola with Karen Tuttle, John Graham, and Caroline Levine. He has attended the Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and has participated as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Wellesley Composer Conference. Kurt Rohde is the Artistic Director of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, based in San Francisco. Kurt Rohde has taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is Assistant Professor of music composition at the University of California, Davis.

Originally from New York, Kurt Rohde currently resides in San Francisco with his partner, Timothy Allen. He is an active violist, performing a wide variety of new music.

[from program for November 3, 2007 concert]

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