“…one of America’s most innovative and visionary composers,” (BBC Music Magazine, March 2019) is known primarily for her for multi-year, multimedia theatrical collaborations. She has cast herself in roles as varied as composer, poet, filmmaker, vocalist, and director.
Ms. Kirsten has been recognized with awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2020), John S. Guggenheim Foundation (2010) and the Rockefeller Foundation (2009) and has created works for her own ensemble HOWL, musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, Peak Performances, the multi-Grammy-winning eighth blackbird, among many others.
An original story written by Ms. Kirsten and Timothy Leopold (trumpet) is the catalyst for her current project, Jacob in Chains, an evening-length work for Alarm Will Sound. Jacob is a present-day Christmas ghost story inspired by the character Jacob Marley, from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
She teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music; is Director of The Artist Residency at Longy School of Music of Bard College; and is Guest Faculty and Mentor for the Blueprint Fellowship at The Juilliard School.