Kristin Kuster (née Peterson, 1973, Raleigh, N.C.) is an American composer and educator.
Dr. Kuster grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan, where she studied with William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty Evan Chambers, and William Albright, and where she now serves as associate professor of composition.
Dr. Kuster "writes commandingly for the orchestra," and her music "has an invitingly tart edge" (The New York Times). Kuster’s colorfully enthralling compositions take inspiration from architectural space, the weather, and mythology. She has been praised as a "wonderfully gifted composer reaching deep for meaning and expressive breadth."
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) commissioned and premiered Dr. Kuster's "lush and visceral" Myrrha for voices and orchestra in Carnegie Hall in May 2006. Her orchestral work The Narrows won the top prize of ACO's Underwood Emerging Composer Commission by being selected from eight finalists in the ACO's 2004 Whitaker New Music Readings. For ACO guest conductor Carl St. Clair, "Kristin's musical voice was absolutely distinguished."
Dr. Kuster was selected for the 2007-08 American Opera Projects' nationally recognized Composers & the Voice Series, in which she will spend a year working with the company's resident ensemble singers and writing for the operatic voice. In March 2008 the ASO premiered her new work Beneath This Stone, which musically captures the ebb and flow between the permanence and transience of historical renewal. Dr. Kuster was also awarded a Jerome Foundation Commissioning Program Award through the American Composers Forum in 2007 for Perpetual Noon, which St. Louis Symphony flutist Jennifer Nitchman premiered at the National Flute Association Convention in August 2008.
Dr. Kuster has many honors and commissions to her credit. Her music has received support from such organizations as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Argosy Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. She has received commissions from ensembles such as the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the New York Central City Chorus, conductor John Lynch and the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble, and a consortium of university wind ensembles organized by University of Michigan conductor Michael Haithcock.
Works for Winds