Kurt Erickson is an active composer whose vocal and instrumental works are performed by leading singers, orchestras, chamber ensembles, and opera companies. Erickson is currently serving as the 2013-16 composer-in-residence with with San Francisco performing arts organization Lieder Alive!, writing and premiering works for guest artist recitals on their subscription concert series. A new song set for acclaimed countertenor Brian Asawa recently premiered in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, Seattle, and Japan, with critical acclaim in The Huffington Post and San Francisco Classical Voice. Erickson has also worked extensively with San Francisco Opera Ballet Master Lawrence Pech on a number of dance commission projects.
While in his twenties, Mr. Erickson served a unique 1999-2000 sacred music composer residency at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, St. Mary the Virgin, and Berkeley’s St. Mark’s. Shortly thereafter, he served as the composer-in-residence at The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi from 2001-2003, writing music for their professional choral ensemble Schola Cantorum; a recording of Mr. Erickson’s choral works by this outstanding vocal group garnered considerable critical acclaim. Mr. Erickson frequently serves as a guest composer and speaker at colleges and universities across the country.
Recent opera commissions include new works for San Francisco Bay Area’s Festival Opera, as well as Houston’s Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival. In 2006 Erickson took part in the unique Composer Institute program with the Minnesota Orchestra (working with conductor Osmo Vänskä and composer Aaron Jay Kernis), an event featured prominently in a two-page New York Times article. As a young composer he served as a composer fellow at Yale University’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival as well as at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
During the 2008-09 season his Toccata for Organ was premiered and recorded at the American Guild of Organists National Convention, and subsequently broadcast on the nationally syndicated radio show Pipedreams. That same season, the San Francisco Girls Chorus premiered a new choral work at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall.
His orchestral song set Chicago Songs received its commissioned premiere performance with the Sacramento Philharmonic, and has since been performed in a soprano/piano transcription in recitals, academic settings, and festivals across the country.
Projects and performances for the 2015-16 season include a new commissioned work to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra; a new soprano and orchestra work for a consortium of 10 ensembles (premiere 2017-18 season); multiple commissioned vocal premieres on the Lieder Alive! concert series (including performances with Alexander String Quartet violist Paul Yarbrough);
A new music advocate, Mr. Erickson is currently directing the Neue Lieder Commissioning Program – a project that has commissioned nine prominent US composers for a premiere performance on the opening of the 2015-16 Lieder Alive! concert series. Erickson serves as Director of the Composers Workshop at the Napa Music Festival where he mentors young composers and arranges public performances of original compositions.