Amy Beth Kirsten
Amy Beth Kirsten is known primarily for her for multiyear, multimedia theatrical collaborations. She has cast herself in roles as varied as composer, poet, filmmaker, vocalist, and director. Her body of theatrical work often considers musicians’ instruments, bodies, and voices as equal vehicles of expression. Also a composer of nontheatrical concert works, she has been recognized with awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2020), John S. Guggenheim Foundation (2010) and the Rockefeller Foundation (2009). Kirsten has created collaborative works for her own ensemble HOWL, musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, Peak Performances, the multi-Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird, and American Composers Orchestra, among many others. An original story written by Kirsten and Timothy Leopold (trumpet) was the catalyst for her project Jacob in Chains, an evening-length work for Alarm Will Sound. Jacob is a present-day Christmas ghost story inspired by ancient myth, spiritual texts, and the character Jacob Marley, from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In addition to her faculty appointment at Curtis Institute of Music, Kirsten is director of the artist residency at Longy School of Music of Bard College, and is one of the composer mentors for the Blueprint Fellowship at Juilliard. She has held previous teaching posts at Oberlin College and Conservatory and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. The Toulmin Foundation, Chamber Music America, the MAP Fund, and many other generous patrons, foundations, and institutions support her work. She joined the Juilliard faculty in 2022.