The sound world of New York composer Debra Kaye merges her eclectic background and interests. Her natural impulse to storytelling, training as a classical and jazz pianist, dalliances in the world of traditional folk music and dance, from Dylan to mambo; Bulgarian to Celtic–and her studies in momentum and flow (Dalcroze Eurhythmics) bring a visceral quality to her music.
Recent highlights include commissions from the Howland Chamber Music Circle and Portland Youth Philharmonic. Five premieres were scheduled for 2020. Though several have been postponed due to the virus, the new works include three zen poems (shakuhachi, viola & cello) commissioned by Kyo-Shin-An Arts. Time is the Sea We Swim In (violin, cello & piano) for the Lincoln Trio, and a deafening silence – an elegy (flute & piano), commissioned by Carl Gutowski, premiering at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
Debra Kaye has been acclaimed for her “sensitivity and raw power” (New Music Connoisseur). In 2018, New Music USA’s New Music Box published a series of Kaye’s articles about the process and inspiration for her music. Debra’s catalogue of chamber and orchestral music, art songs, choral and theatrical compositions, continues to expand through her steady stream of commissions and collaborations.
Recognized with numerous ASCAP Plus Awards, Debra has been selected for awards from Meet the Composer, Mannes College, Harpsichord XXI, New School University, Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Atlanta Music Teacher’s Association, and Edward T. Cone Foundation, and she has been in residence at the Millay Colony and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. An advocate for new music, Debra serves on the board of New York Women Composers and is an associate director with Composers Concordance. Her debut album And So It Begins (Ravello Records), produced by GRAMMY winner Judith Sherman, was on Ted Gioia’s list of top 100 CD’s and recognized as “…a beautiful exhibition of the art of musical flow” (sonagrama.org), and “…inspirational, an album that will surely stand the test of time” (babysue.com).
Debra is a graduate of Mannes College and New York University and served on the faculty of the Mannes College Preparatory Division from 1991-2018. When not composing, she is an avid reader, enjoys the company of friends, the outdoors, and is a life-long diarist.