Discipline: Music Composition

Kate Soper

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Cambridge, MA
MacDowell fellowships: 2013, 2018

What better place to write music about Greek and Roman myths than the neoclassical confines of MacDowell’s Watson Studio? Composer Kate Soper found the setting to be “crazy” productive for her various projects, including her new opera Here Be Sirens and I Was Here I Was I, an immersive musical installation that she will perform with the acclaimed classical group Alarm Will Sound at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The architecture of the Met’s Greek and Roman Wing is instrumental to Soper’s music. As she explains, “the three central galleries of this wing carve up one contiguous and immensely reverberant space, within which every sound is audible from everywhere else.” This multidisciplinary experience will echo Soper’s overall approach to music, which often integrates aspects of drama, rhetoric, and physical space. Take a look to see how the people and spaces at MacDowell have impacted her work.

Soper is co-director and vocalist for the ensemble Wet Ink. She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Chamber Music America, and many other organizations.

In residence in 2018, she completed a work for voice and piano (one performer), "The Fragments of Parmenides," which she premiered as vocalist/pianist at a festival in August 2018. She also worked on revisions to her opera with original libretto The Romance of the Rose; composed a short occasional piece for a retiring former professor, "So Dawn Chromatically Descends to Day;" and wrote a short story, "The Clearing." She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017.

Studios

Watson

Kate Soper worked in the Watson studio.

Built in 1916 in memory of Regina Watson of Chicago, a musician and teacher, this studio was donated by a group of her friends, along with funds for its maintenance. Originally designed to serve as a composers’ studio and recital hall for chamber music, the latter purpose was soon found to be too disruptive to…

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