Opera America, the national service organization for opera, announced the first round of recipients of its new program, Opera Grants for Female Composers. Congratulations to Purchase College Professor of Music Laura Kaminsky, one of eight composers chosen to receive an award from 112 eligible applications.
Kaminsky will receive $12,500 to support development of her composition As One, a 75-minute-long, multi-chamber opera that explores the revelatory, redemptive journey of a transgender individual wrestling with profound ontological issues. Libretto is by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed.
Kaminsky is a composer with “an ear for the new and interesting” whose works are “colorful and harmonically sharp-edged” (The New York Times), and whose “musical language is compounded of hymns, blues, and gestures not unlike those of Shostakovich” (inTune). Social and political themes are common in her work, as is an abiding respect for and connection to the natural world. The visual is made manifest in sound, with color and image often serving as inspiration. Her music is “full of fire as well as ice, written in an idiom that contrasts dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection.” (American Record Guide)
In addition to her role as professor of music at Purchase College, she is also artistic director of Symphony Space in New York City.