July 3, 2013

About Harriet


harriet-59_40990195424_o-3As a composer, I get inspiration from language and narrative, and similarly find that most of my work attempts to tell some sort of story. I’ve collaborated with artists across various disciplines, and my works have been premiered within presentations of dance, visual art, theatre, and poetry. I have received recent premieres with the 2017 Ann Arbor SongSlam, the 7Songwriter’s series (NYC), the Dulciana Choir (Dublin, Ireland), and Coral Paulistano (São Paulo, Brazil) as well as premiere from recent collaborations with students at Univeristy of Michigan, Cleveland Institute, Indiana University and Butler University. My work has received recognition by the American Prize in the Opera/Theatre/Film and Choral Music divisions as well as recent selection for the 2018 American Composers Forum Showcase.  Some of my music is published by Colla Voce Music and Hal Leonard Corporation; Hal Leonard’s product description for one of my choir pieces describes the work as giving “emotional context that will offer appropriate challenge and reward.” Although fairly surgical, I’d say this describes a lot of my work.

I’ve recently been awarded a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts & Affairs (MCACA) for a project I organized with some local artists that we’re calling the Detroit Composers’ Project. The goal of the project is to connect Detroit-area early-career composers with musicians in their community. The award from MCACA will provide funding for the commission and premiere of 6 new chamber works by area composers in September 2018.  Also upcoming this summer, I have received fellowships for the Norfolk New Music Workshop (Norfolk, CT) and Weekend of Chamber Music (Jeffersonville, NY). 

Having written a lot of vocal music, I am fascinated by language and translation, with experience setting text in German, Norwegian, Hebrew, and Latin. In 2015, Butler’s all-majors chorus premiered my work setting the cheeky descriptions on the back of Tazo® tea boxes for SATB choir and piano. Passionate about collaborating with living writers, recent and upcoming projects include writers John Leo (MFA, Butler University), Chad Rochkind, W.S. Merwin, Jean Valentine, and Anthony Doerr (All The Light We Cannot See).

I have had private study in voice, viola, conducting, and piano. I have performed in orchestras, choirs, and chamber ensembles for my entire life. With no burning aspirations as a great performer, my goals as a musician include (but are not limited to) memorizing all the Bach Inventions and Sinfonias by 2021. I took private poetry lessons for a semester in college under Alessandra Lynch, an experience I found incredibly insightful to my work. My poems are not currently available.

I received a Bachelor’s in Music Composition and a Minor in English Literature from Butler University where I studied composition with Frank Felice, James Aikman, Ronald Caltabiano, and Michael Schelle. I have studied harmony and counterpoint at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France where I studied composition with David Conte and Philip Lasser (among others). I also studied german language and literature at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany where I successfully completed level A1 and partially understood many german plays at the Berliner Ensemble as well as West Side Story in german (twice). In addition to composition, I enjoy non-fiction, instant coffee, musicals, handwritten letters, and vegetables.

Please contact me – harriet (at) harrietsteinke (.) com – to procure a 200-word cordial biography for professional purposes.