Kathryn Salfelder

From Wind Repertory Project
Kathryn Salfelder


Kathryn Salfelder (b. 1987, Paterson, N.J.) is an American composer, conductor and pianist.

She began studying music and composition at the age of six at the Bergen Yamaha Music School in Paramus. At 13, she began studying piano with Anthony R. Fedell. In high school she was a winner in the 2003 Andrew de Grado Piano Competition for her performance of Danzas Argentinas by Alberto Ginastera. Dr. Salfelder earned her DMA in composition at the New England Conservatory, her M.M. in composition from the Yale School of Music and a B.M. in composition with academic honors from New England Conservatory. Her primary teachers include Michael Gandolfi, Aaron Jay Kernis, and David Lang. She is the recipient of NEC’s 2009 Donald Martino Award for Excellence in Composition, 2009 George Chadwick Medal, and 2012 Tourjee Alumni Scholarship.

Dr. Salfelder engages late-medieval and Renaissance polyphony in conversations with twenty-first-century techniques; she borrows literally from chansons, motets, and masses, as well as more liberally from Renaissance-era forms and structures. Her music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Albany (NY) Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, New England Philharmonic, Boston Musica Viva, United States Air Force Band – Washington D. C., and the Dallas Wind Symphony, and has been featured in over three hundred concerts at the nation’s leading universities and conservatories. Commissions have included new works for the American Bandmasters Association, New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Western Michigan University Wind Symphony, MIT Wind Ensemble, Japan Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference (JWECC), and the Frank Battisti 85th Birthday Project.

She is the recipient of the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Ithaca College Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, and the United States Air Force Gabriel Award. Two wind band works, Cathedrals and Crossing Parallels, are published by Boosey & Hawkes.

Dr. Salfelder resides in Cambridge, Mass. where she teaches composition and counterpoint at New England Conservatory. Prior, she taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she serves as lecturer in music theory. In her spare time, she can be found realizing figured bass lines and dabbling at the organ.

Works for Winds


  • Barber, Carolyn. "Shadows Ablaze." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 783-793. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • Brown, Andrea. "Crossing Parallels." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 665-673. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
  • Higgins, Joseph. "Reminiscence." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 256-262. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 461.
  • Kathryn Salfelder, Composer
  • Kathryn Salfelder, personal correspondence, April 2018
  • Kathryn Salfelder, Wikipedia
  • Powell, Edwin. "Ungrounded Bass." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 854-859. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.
  • Schroeder, Angela L. "Stylus Phantasticus." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 10, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 1024-1032. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2015.