Carson Kievman is a composer of extremely original music, which is rare
— Olivier Messiaen COMPOSER/TEACHER
Mr. Kievman ranks among the foremost modern composers
— Joseph Papp, producer
Carson, pursuing your voice is an inspired choice, but don’t expect recognition
— James Tenney, composer/teacher
Carson has an original and advanced use of vocal and musical techniques, using mass media. But he is a complete outsider
— - Luigi Nono, composer/mentor

Biographical Posting by Lynn Holst, former Associate Play Development for the New York Shakespeare Festival: Public Theater, New York City.  Writing for The List, a compendium of artists produced and distributed by Independent Curators Inc. (ICI) (Susan Sollins, Director)

“Through a departure from traditional forms of ‘serious’ new music and a need to better express his eclectic American Sensibility, Carson Kievman has created a controversial form of music experience especially exciting to a contemporary audience. His Soundtheater works integrate striking visual and sonic images and associations in events that explore possibilities of communication outside the normal concert experience, though often presented within this context.  Hailed as a ‘Wizard’ by the Village Voice, Kievman’s works have also been called ‘Great Arts’ by the Boston Globe, ‘Enthralling’ and ‘Tours de Farce’ by the New York Times, ‘A Sensation’ by the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, ‘Arresting by the Los Angeles Times, “A Major New Trend’ by the San Francisco Chronicle, and ‘Vigorously Innovative and Uplifting’ by Newsday.  Kievman has opened up the experience of the concert (and music-theater) form.  His work explores musical and personal relationships between an individual and his/her environment; between the artist and his/her work; between the audience and the artist; and between music, theater and visual art. Kievman’s present work further abstracts contemporary life and seeks to find, through a purely intuitive/associative musical process, an authentic mythology of modern experience.”


Carson Kievman has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts American Masterworks; Miami New Times Mastermind Award; Princeton University Research Fellowship; Naumberg Fellowship at Princeton University; a Janet A. Hooker Charitable Trust Award; 2 MacDowell Colony Fellowships; Jury & Participant's Prizes at the 4th International Composer's Festival Zurich, Switzerland; NEA Composer / Librettist Fellowship; Rockefeller and Adolph Foundation awards for a music-theater productions at the Public Theater; Fromm Foundation at Harvard Commission; Koussevitzky Foundation Composer/Director Residency Tanglewood; Margaret Grant Composition Prize from Tanglewood; Leonard Bernstein Fellowship; 2 Lord Mayor of Darmstadt Fellowships Ferienkürse Fur Neue Musik; 2 BMI Awards.

Carson Kievman has created  7 symphonies including 1 ASPEN, 2(42), 3 HURRICANE, 4 BIODIVERSITY, 5 SYMBIOSIS 6 NO MAN’S LAND, 7 NO MAN’S LAND , 9 full length multidisciplinary/multimedia operas including “TESLA”, “INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS, The Surrender of Self in Mystical Contemplation”, “FAIRY TALES, Songs of the Dandelion Woman”, “CALIFORNIA MYSTERY PARK”, “HAMLET”, “A GLASS BEAD GAME”, “LADIES VOICES”, “RED LIGHT-GREEN LIGHT” and “WAKE UP, IT’S TIME TO GO TO BED!”, 23 music-theater works and works for chamber ensembles, piano, violin, voice, choir plus multiple experimental multimedia works. 

Carson Kievman’s work follows an independent course that blends new music with the theatrical, visual and literary arts. His symphonies, operas, chamber music, music-theater and experimental works have been performed internationally in stage, concert, dance, and museum settings, from SoBe Arts to the Berkeley Art Museum; Ysbreker (Amsterdam), the Pennsylvania Ballet (Philadelphia), The Public Theater (New York City), the Rote Fabrik (Zurich), the Tanglewood Music Festival (Lenox), and the Nationaltheater Mannheim (Germany). His works have been broadcast by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); Nord Deutsche Rundfunk, Berlin; Radio France, Paris; National Public Radio (NPR) and other media outlets worldwide. His composition teachers have included Earle Brown, Olivier Messiaen and James Tenney.

Carson Kievman’s music attempts to tap into a higher state of illumination, evoking something otherworldly, striving to touch the nonliteral and pre-verbal incandescence.  While the inspiration for his work is grounded in personal experience, he explores closer contact with the “luminosity of life’s intangibles.


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Contact Carson Kievman