Katherine Balch (b. 1991) writes music that aims to capture the intimacy of existence through sound. Often influenced by extra-musical arts, philosophy, and literature, she seeks a heterogenous yet formally cohesive aesthetic that treats sound as texture.
Called "intricate" and an "exquisite sound world" by icareifyoulisten, Katherine's music has been commissioned and performed by the Tokyo, Minnesota and Albany Symphony Orchestras, American Composer's Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Yale Camerata and Philharmonia, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Antico Moderno, FLUX Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, New York Youth Symphony, wild Up and Contemporaneous, among others, in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Upcoming projects for the 2018-2019 season include new works for NYC-based Bearthoven Trio, International Contemporary Ensemble, California Symphony Orchestra, and the Argus Quartet / Concert Artist's Guild.
Katherine is currently Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony, a three-year position she will hold through 2020. She is managed by Young Concert Artists Inc., where she currently holds the William B. Butz Composition Chair. Recent recognitions include fellowships from Aspen, Norfolk, Fontainebleau, Tanglewood, and Santa Fe music festivals, and awards from ASCAP, BMI, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among others.
Katherine received her B.A. / B.M. in the Tufts / New England Conservatory double degree program, where she studied history and political science at Tufts (summa cum laude) and composition at NEC. Her research has been published in the History of European Ideas. Explorations of political philosophy, history, and the relationship of the artist to society remain an important part of her musical identity. She completed her M.M. at Yale School of Music as a Charles H. Ditson Fellow, where she studied with Aaron Jay Kernis, Chris Theofanidis, and David Lang, and is currently pursuing her D.M.A. as a Dean's Fellow at Columbia University, studying with Georg Haas and Fred Lerdahl.
Passionate about education at all levels, she is a faculty member of the Walden School in Dublin, New Hampshire and Bard College-Conservatory preparatory in the Hudson Valley. When not making or listening to music, Katherine enjoys cooking, playing with her cat, Zarathustra, various combinations of espresso and steamed milk, and the outdoors.