Key Works aims to showcase the works                                      of American composer Kate Waring.

Kate Waring is a composer and producer who has also worked as conductor, flutist, teacher, lecturer and organiser of festivals, concerts and charity events. Of her numerous works, most have received recognition through live performances, as well as radio and television coverage and recordings throughout the world. She has composed various symphonic and chamber works, ballet, song cycles, electronic music, musicals, operas and oratorio. 

Kate Waring was born in Louisiana where she received her Bachelor of Music (1975) in Flute Performance and a Master of Music (1977) in Composition from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where her composition teachers were Dinos Constantinides, Kenneth Klaus and James Drew. After teaching music theory and composition at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis in Tennessee) where she studied composition with Don Freund, she moved to Paris, France, taking the form and analysis classes with Betsy Jolas at the Paris Conservatory. Further studies of formalized music with Iannis Xenakis and musical aesthetics with Michel Guiomar at the Sorbonne led to her receiving a Diplome d’Études Approfondies (1981), followed by her doctorate in 1984.

While in Paris, Kate Waring taught music with the late Alfred Loewenguth of the Loewenguth String Quartet and was musical director of one of his Orchestres de Jeunes. In summer of 1984, she was “Composer in Residence” at the summer Festival de Musique de Saint Céré, for which she composed “Ulterior Motives“ for two saxophone quartets and string orchestra.

After moving to Germany, Waring was founder and artistic director of the annual “American Music Week” for a decade starting in 1987, promoting American music of many genres in Bonn, Cologne, Berlin, Aachen and other German cities. The annual series was generously supported by the U.S.I.S. (United States Information Service), the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, the Cultural Office of the City of Bonn, the Ford Manufacturing Company in Cologne, Rudolf Damm Corporation and others. During this time, Waring was also European liaison for the American Society of Composers Inc. and was active in the College Music Society of the U.S.A.

Waring’s musical “A*B*C*America Before Columbus” and her chamber opera “Rapunzel” have received numerous performances on both sides of the Atlantic (Opera Delaware & Operaworks of Pennsylvania in the U.S.A. and the Brotfabrik Bonn, Bundeskunsthalle, Kleve Stadthalle, Ludwigsforum Aachen, etc.) Her other works have been performed at many festivals, including the German Bonner Herbst (director: Dennis Russel Davies), the International Double Reed Convention in Frankfurt, the American Music Week, the Wilma E. Grote Symposium for the Advancement of Women, Italy’s Donna in Musica, Amerikawoche in Andernach, the Cambridge Summer Music Festival/UK, Cambridge Music Conference, etc.

Her mixed-media oratorio “Remember the Earth Whose Skin You Are” with texts by Native Americans was successfully premiered in 1994 at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn with added performances in Cleves and Andernach. Kate Waring was appointed by the cultural office of the city of Unna, Germany, to the position of artistic director of both the “Fanny Mendelssohn Composition Competition” and the “International Festival of Women’s Music” in 1995, with Meredith Monk as featured composer.

A very serious health problem caused Waring to curtail her musical activities in 1995. She underwent 2 years of challenging medical treatments in Germany before her family’s move to England in 1997.

While in England, Waring has composed an opera entitled “Legacy of the Pioneers” with the late playwright Karin E. Seifert, a musical called “Rings of Glory” with Philippe Delamare and various chamber music works on commission. Her “Scenes of Childhood”, commissioned by the Manon String Quartet, was premiered in May 2003 in the Cologne Philharmonie to an appreciative audience. In addition to project management in various art forms, Waring served for many years on the board of Action for Children’s Arts.

Recent commissions include works for the Louisiana Sinfonietta, the Cambridge Music Conference for performance at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival in England, the Manon String Quartet, the Meininger Trio and others.

Waring is artistic director of Key Works which received a generous grant from the Arts Council England to produce a music/dance theatre project exploring new technologies, in collaboration with English partners from Essexdance and the Norwich School of Art and Design and German partners from the Folkwang Hochschule and I.C.E.M. in Essen, Germany. “The Wish Fish” toured 6 UK cities in 2005.

Kate’s fourth opera, “The Caravanserai” with libretto by Canadian writer Don Mowatt who was producer of radio arts for 34 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Company in Vancouver B.C., was completed in 2005. Her 5th & 6th operas are “Are Women People?” and “Porcelain & Pink”.

Waring enjoys writing new work, including chamber music, choral and orchestral work, opera and more. Ongoing collections include “Night Episodes” for solo piano and “Heavenly Bodies” (subtitled “The Dwarf Planets”) for orchestra. 

Updated April 2015


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