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Mark Kilstofte

Oslo, NO   

Mark Kilstofte is admired as a composer of lyrical line, engaging harmony, strong, dramatic gesture and keen sensitivity to sound, shape and event. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as “exciting and beautiful, consistently gripping,” his music has garnered a growing number of awards and honors including the Rome Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, ASCAP’s Rudolf Nissim Award, the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Aaron Copland Award (three times) and the Gardner Read and Francis & William Schuman Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, as well as commissions from (among others) the Dale Warland Singers and the Fromm Foundation. His music, performed regularly throughout North America and Europe, has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and is heard in concert halls from Moscow to Bangkok.

 Kilstofte’s compositional style reflects his interest in everything from Gesualdo to Jethro Tull. His innovative approach to form — he is the son of a structural engineer — results in a music of tremendous integrity and clarity which can be humorous one moment, achingly beautiful the next.

 An experienced performer and conductor, Kilstofte studied with William Albright, Leslie Bassett, and William Bolcom at the University of Michigan where he was a Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellow and assistant conductor of the new music ensemble, Contemporary Directions. He teaches theory and composition at Furman University, a liberal arts college known for its dedication to teaching and undergraduate research, and is currently a guest researcher and Fulbright senior scholar at the University of Oslo’s Center for Ibsen Studies where he is working on an opera based on Ibsen’s Brand. His music is published by the Newmatic Press.