Laura Kaminsky

(b. 28 September 1956, New York, New York).

American composer of mostly chamber, vocal and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.

Ms. Kaminsky studied composition with Joseph Wood at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio from 1974–78, where she earned her BA magna cum laude in psychology. She then studied composition with Mario Davidovsky at the City College of New York from 1978–80, where she earned her MA, on the Tuch Foundation Fellowship.

Among her honours are two fellowships from the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York (1984, 1986), six fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (1985, 1989–92, 1999), a residency in Ghana (1992–93), and the Centrum Artist Residency Fellowship in Port Townsend, Washington (2004).

She is also active in other positions. She founded the ensemble for contemporary music Musicians Accord in 1984, later in residence at the City College of New York, and has served as its artistic director since 1984. She served as Director of the Humanities and Film Programs of the 92nd Street Y in New York, New York from 1984–88, as artistic director of the venue The Town Hall in New York, New York from 1988–92, as Director of Music and Theater Programs at The New School in New York, New York from 1993–96, and as director of the European Mozart Academy in Warsaw in 1996–97. She later served as music curator of the venue Symphony Space in New York, New York from 2007–09, as its associate artistic director in 2009–10 and as its artistic director from 2010–14.

She taught as chair of the department of music at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle from 1999–2004 and has taught at the Conservatory of Music of Purchase College, State University of New York since 2004, where she served as dean from 2004–08.


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Spiritlines, piano, string orchestra, 2006

Terra Terribilis: Concerto, 3 percussion, orchestra, 2008

Night Storm, string orchestra, 2010 (also version for 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass)

Concerto, piano, orchestra, 2011


Just Here, Sitting Now, clarinet, piano, 1987

Whence it Comes, cello, percussion, 1989

It Comes and it Goes, flute, guitar, 1990

Infidels, viola, cello, piano, 1991

Spirit Lost and Found, guitar, 1995

Elegy for the Silenced Voice, trumpet, 1995

Interpolations on Utopia Parkway, oboe, piano, 1993–97

Night Flight to Warsaw, oboe, double bass, piano, 1997

Vukovar Trio, violin, cello, piano, 1998–99

Transformations I, string quartet, 1998–2000

River Music, flute, piano, percussion, 2000

The Full Range of Blue, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, 2001

Transformations II: Music for a Changing World, string quartet, 2002

Duo for Cello and Piano, 2003

Runaway Anemone, guitar, mandolin, 2003

Until a Name, flute, 2003

Piano Quartet, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2003–04

Cadenza Variations, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 2004

Transformations III, string quartet, 2004

Monotypes, string quartet, 2004–05

Music for Thelma, violin, piano, 2005

L'Arcipelago delle delizie, cello, 2005

Duo, flute, piano, 2005–06

Duo, violin, piano, 2006

Piano Trio, violin, cello, piano, 2007

American Nocturne, string quartet, 2009

Blast, French horn, 2009

Wave Hill, violin, piano, 2009

Cadmium Yellow, string quartet, 2010

The Great Unconformity, cello, 2010

Night Storm, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 2010 (version of work for string orchestra)

Horizon Lines, oboe, bassoon, piano, film, 2011

Inlets, flute, cello, piano, 2011

Catastrophe, flute, oboe, 2 guitars, violin, cello, 2012

Rising Tide, string quartet, 2012

Homage to Havel, flute, oboe, 2 guitars, violin, cello, 2013


There is a Season (text from the Book of Ecclesiastes), mixed chorus, clarinet, cello, piano, percussion, 1986

Libra (text by Marcus Manilius), mixed chorus, 2002

The Seasons (texts by nieces of the composer), children's chorus/female chorus, 2003

For Lee Krasner (text by Rebecca Allan), children's chorus/female chorus, 2005


Twilight Settings (texts from anonymous sources from Indonesia), soprano, percussion, string quartet, 1985, revised 1988

Nightpiece (text by James Joyce), tenor, flute, clarinet, cello, piano, 1985

Proverbs of Hell (text by William Blake), soprano, piano, marimba, 1989

Whitman Songs (text by Walt Whitman), baritone, piano, 1992

And Trouble Came: An African AIDS Diary (texts by the composer, the Bible, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Claude McKay, Pablo Neruda), speaker, viola, cello, piano, 1993

Aluta Continua (text from the words "a luta continua"), soprano, flute, harp, 1996–97

Rise, My Love (text from the Song of Solomon), voice, piano, 2003


Fred's Piece, 1989

Triftmusik, 1991

Future Conditional, piano, live electronics ad libitum, 1995

musica piccola, 2002

Music for Artur, 2006

Calendar Music, 2008

Fantasy, 2010

DISCOGRAPHY (as composer)

Twilight Settings. Christine Schadeberg, soprano; Musicians Accord (Mode Records: mode 23, 1990)

And Trouble Came: An African AIDS Diary. Mark Lamos, speaker; Fidelio Trio (Composers Recordings, Inc.: CRI 729, 1996)

Triftmusik. Sara Laimon, piano (Composers Recordings, Inc.: CRI 864, 2000)

DISCOGRAPHY (as producer)

Chamber Music with Voice (& a Little Jazz). (Mode Records: mode 23, 1990)

The Great Works for Voice (Luciano Berio). (Mode Records: mode 48, 1995)

Transience: Music by Joel Feigin. (North/South Recordings: N/S R 1011, 1996)

And Trouble Came: Musical Responses to AIDS. (Composers Recordings, Inc.: CRI 729, 1996)

An Eye-Sky Symphony: The Music of Robert Savage. (Composers Recordings, Inc.: CRI 790, 1998)

Mosaic (Henry Cowell). (Mode Records: mode 72/73, 1999)

Hallelujah Games (Amy D. Rubin). (Mode Records: mode 79, 1999)

Piano Fantasy (Aaron Copland); Sonata No. 1 (Charles Ives). (Mode Records: mode 93, 2000)