Carolyn Yarnell, composer, photographer, painter, and sometimes poet, expands the realm of classic beauty through sight and sound. Yarnell finds sources of inspiration in nature, science, and in the emotive spectrum of human experience.
A California native, Yarnell was raised in Sierra Nevada Mountains. She holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Yale. Noted as an orchestral composer, her compositions have been performed from Carnegie Hall to the National Cultural Center of Taiwan. She was commissioned by soprano Julia Bullock for her project "History's Persistent Voice", fusing the traditional slave song with the work of Black artists.
During her 2002 Fellowship at MacDowell, Yarnell wrote the libretto and composed the music for her autobiographic opera. Sonic Vision, the first CD entirely devoted to her music, was released on Tzadik in 2003. In 2022, she composed songs commissioned by soprano Julia Bullock for her project “History’s Persistent Voice,” fusing the traditional slave song with the work of Black artists.
Portrait by Pamela Madsen