Called “spellbinding” by Seen and Heard International with “glow and poise and electric tension” (The Daily Telegraph), the music of composer Katherine Balch captures the magic of everyday sounds, inviting audiences into a sonic world characterized by imagination, discovery, and stylistic variety. Often inspired by literature, nature, and science, she has been described as “some kind of musical Thomas Edison – you can just hear her tinkering around in her workshop, putting together new sounds and textural ideas” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Balch’s work has been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the symphony orchestras of Minnesota, Oregon, Albany, Indianapolis, and Tokyo. She has been featured on IRCAM’s ManiFeste, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and Festival MANCA in Europe, Suntory Summer Arts and Takefu Music Festival in Japan, and the Aspen, Norfolk, Santa Fe, and Tanglewood music festivals in the United States. Upcoming projects include new works for Ensemble Modern and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Balch is the recipient of the 2020-21 Elliot Carter Rome Prize Fellowship. She recently completed her tenure as composer-in-residence for the California Symphony, and held the 2017-2019 William B. Butz Composition Chair at Young Concert Artists, Inc. Other recognitions include awards and grants from Wigmore Hall, ASCAP, BMI, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Chamber Music America, the Barlow Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Her music is published exclusively worldwide by Schott Music.
Balch has served on the faculties of Mannes School of Music, the Walden School, and Bard College Conservatory Prep. Currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, she counts George Lewis, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Marcos Balter among her mentors there. When not making or listening to music, she can be found hiking, cooking, or playing with her feline sidekick, Zarathustra.