Katherine Balch (b. 1991) is a composer whose work explores visual processes as a means to musical narrative and drama. She is currently enrolled in the Tufts University/ New England Conservatory double-degree program.
At NEC, Katherine studies composition with Stratis Minakakis, and previously studied with Kati Agócs. She is a winner of NEC’s Contemporary Ensemble and Honors Ensemble competitions, and directs NEC’s student composer concert series, Tuesday Night New Music. Her chamber opera, The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year, premiered last May with the support of an Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant from NEC, and was later recorded in Tufts’ Distler Hall with the support of a Granoff Special Project grant. Katherine teaches and tutors keyboard harmony, and is assistant to Stratis Minakakis.
Dedicated both to her academic studies and her musical endeavors, Katherine is interested in the intersection of art, philosophy, and politics. At Tufts, Katherine is double majoring history and political science, and is a recipient of the Imlah history prize, the Russell E. Miller history prize, the Belfer prize in political science, and the Class of 1942 Prize Scholarship. Her particular interest in the political philosophies of J.J. Rousseau, F. Nietzsche, and Baron de Montesquieu has led to grants from the Summer Scholars fund, the Undergraduate Research fund, and a presentation at the Northeastern Political Science Association conference in Philadelphia. In 2013, she was a Tikvah Project summer fellow at Princeton University. Katherine is also teaching assistant for the Political Science department's Intro to Western Political Thought courses, which provide students with an introduction to political philosophy from Thucydides to Nietzsche.
Musical recognitions include winner of Albany Symphony’s Composer to Center Stage competition, a fellowship from Yale School of Music’s Norfolk Music Festival, full scholarship for summer study at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, first prize in the NLAPW’s composition competition, 3-time finalist and winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould young composer award, winner of American Modern Ensemble's Eight Annual Composition Competition, and winner of the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music Commission. Her piano concerto, Epiphyte, was premiered by the NYYS last November in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium.
Katherine will begin her Masters of Music at Yale School of Music in the fall.
Aside from musical and academic endeavors, Katherine enjoys cooking, playing with her cat, Zarathustra, various combinations of espresso and steamed milk, and the outdoors.