Recently deemed “among the brightest lights to emerge in recent seasons” (Time Out New York) and “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” (Philadelphia Inquirer), composer SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” (The New York Times), “culturally electric” (The Los Angeles Times), and “strikingly beautiful” (Time Out New York). Her works have been commissioned and performed internationally by celebrated artists including ACME, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Colin Currie, Firebird Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, the Knights, NOW Ensemble, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Psappha,Roomful of Teeth, Signal, Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and yMusic. Heard in a diverse array of venues ranging from classical (Carnegie Hall) to experimental (The Kitchen) to rock (The Bell House), her music has also been featured in festivals such as Aspen, Ecstatic, Colorado, Bang On a Can Summer, MATA, Carlsbad, Look & Listen, 21C Liederabend, SONiC, and the Keys to the Future Contemporary Piano Music. Upcoming projects include commissions for Cantus, the American Pianists Association, Third Coast Percussion, and violist Nadia Sirota. She is also at work on Unremembered, her second full-length album of unconventional art songs, and down the road, looks forward to a new collaboration with Shara Worden.
Blending a traditional approach to craft with a fresh, cosmopolitan sensibility, Sarah’s music draws upon a variety of influences to prioritize mood, story, and character. She writes for varied instrumentation, from solo to orchestra. Recently, many projects have found her writing for voice. These works include Unremembered (2011), a cycle of songs commissioned by poly-stylistic vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth for a residency at Mass MoCA, set to poetry byNathaniel Bellows; Taking Turns in My Skin (2011), a set of songs for vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and yMusic commissioned by Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center for the Ecstatic Music Festival; andPenelope (2009), a 60-minute song cycle with lyrics by playwright Ellen McLaughlin, written for Shara Worden and the chamber orchestra Signal, originally commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Center.
On October 26, 2010, Sarah released her first album, Penelope, a song cycle with lyrics by Ellen McLaughlin, featuring Shara Worden and Signal, conducted by Brad Lubman, on New Amsterdam Records. Acclaimed “rapturous” (The New York Times), “the year’s most affecting creation” (Time Out New York), and “culturally electric new music” (The Los Angeles Times), Penelope was named to dozens of year-end best-of lists internationally, includingNPR, Time Out New York, eMusic, textura, The Huffington Post, and WNYC, and also received critical acclaim from Pitchfork, New York Magazine, The Believer, The Utne Reader, The Chicago Reader, The New Haven Advocate, Venus, New Music Box, Death and Taxes, and many others. Of the album, the influential webzine Pitchforkwrote: “Snider’s music lives in…an increasingly populous inter-genre space that, as of yet, has produced only a few clear, confident voices. Snider is perhaps the most sophisticated of them all: No matter what perspective you bring to this album, it bears profound rewards.”
Born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Sarah has an M.M. and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Musicand a B.A. from Wesleyan University. In 2006 she was a Schumann Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. The recipient of numerous honors and distinctions for her music, she has studied with Martin Bresnick, Marc-Andre Dalbavie, Justin Dello Joio, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, David Lang, and Christopher Rouse. She splits her time between New York and Princeton, where she lives with her husband, Steven, and their two young children. Her music is published by Good Child Music Publishing.