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Making Waves As a Composer

Composer Katherine Balch's year so far: Virginia Woolf–inspired commission, selection as Young Concert Artists composer-in-residence.

Katherine Balch: Chrysalis from Circling the Waves project

Katherine Balch '14 Tufts/NEC has been selected by Young Concert Artists as their 2017–2019 Composer-in-Residence, the 11th composer to receive this honor. As a YCA composer, Balch joins the YCA roster, which provides management services, publicity, and seeks out performance and commissioning opportunities. Balch's two designated YCA commissions start with a work to be performed by YCA flutist Anthony Trionfo. More about this

Find NEC musicians on the Young Concert Artists roster, past and present.

Balch is also 2017–2019 Composer-i-Residence for the California Symphony (more about this). Their May 6 season finale concert will include the world premiere of her commissioned work like a broken clock.

Circling the Waves

Beyond the competition-driven, institutional sphere, Balch's recent commissions include participation in an unusual project for violinist Michiko Theurer. As an hommage to the multi-voiced narrative of Virginia Woolf's novel The Waves, Theurer asked six composers to write works for solo violin based on Theurer's own paintings, to function together as a suite. Theurer performed this music in June at the International Virginia Woolf Conference in England. More about this

Loveliest Afternoon

While a student at NEC, Balch received an Entrepreneurial Musicianship Grant for work on her chamber opera The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year, based on the comedy by American playwright John Guare, and produced in collaboration with fellow students Laura-Soto Bayomi, Josh Quinn, Patrick Dean Shelton, and Matt Szymanski. While a collaborative project like this, working with a prominent, living writer, is not unheard of, it is extremely unusual for an undergraduate to have taken on a project of this scope and ambition.