I sat down recently with three of best composers I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing: Timothy Tharaldson, Kurt Knecht, and David von Kampen. All four of us are MusicSpoke composers, which is an innovative new distribution platform for self-published composers that Kurt Knecht and his wife have recently launched. Our conversation was very long and will be broken up into two parts, this is part 1.
In this conversation the four of us go deep into the issues of music publishing, keeping the audience in mind, new trends in music, and several other topics.
Here is some information on each of the composers:
Timothy Jon Tharaldson is a composer based out of Colorado. His choral works have been performed across the country by various community, church, and high school choirs. He has compositions published through Hal Leonard, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and his own publishing company High Pants Guy Music.
He is currently a cantor at Assumption Parish in Thornton, Colorado. He has taught at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado and Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado. He holds a BA from St. Cloud State University; a MM from University of Northern Colorado, and has almost completed a DA in Choral Conducting and Composition, also from UNC. Also a singer, Timothy has been a member of the national acclaimed choir Kantorei, based in Denver.
Kurt Knecht is a composer, organist, and conductor currently living in Lincoln, Nebraska. His compositions have been described as “funky” and “joyous” in the Washington Post, and the American Record Guide has called him a “fresh voice.” His compositions have become a staple of the modern choral festival literature and have been performed at festivals and concerts in over 37 states. Performances of his compositions include international performances at festivals and concerts in Germany, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Cuba, New Zealand, and a performance at the Kennedy Center by the Grammy Award winning Washington Chorale. Upcoming performances of his compositions include the World Choir Symposium in Seoul, Korea, the International Clarinet Society Conference, and the National Conference of the Organ Historical Society. He is regularly commissioned and publishes with Walton, Pavane, and Colla Voce. He has received the ASCAP Plus award (2008-2013) from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. His composition Missa Prolationem was awarded the Folsom Prize for the most outstanding dissertation of the University of Nebraska in 2009. As an eclectic performer, Kurt has been a featured soloist with groups ranging from Smokey Robinson to The Florida Orchestra. Kurt regularly appears as a concert organist and collaborative pianist. He also performs in the improvisation duo Mondegreen with violist Jonah Sirota of the Chiara Quartet. He is the music director at St. Mark’s on the Campus in Lincoln, NE. He received the Bachelor of Music from the University of Tampa with concentrations in Piano Performance and Theory, the Master of Music in Composition from Southern Methodist University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition with a minor in Organ Performance from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
David von Kampen
David von Kampen is a composer living in Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s creative work spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including jazz, choral music, hymnody and liturgy, solo voice, chamber music, and musical theater. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Nebraska. David is a four-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories, winner of the 2014 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the 2014 New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. He has over 40 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with G. Schirmer, Concordia Publishing House, UNC Jazz Press, and others. David is active as a pianist and musical director in jazz and theater settings, and as a clinician for both vocal and instrumental ensembles. He is currently an adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, Neb., and directs the Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus at Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln. David is a member of ASCAP and the American Choral Directors Association. He lives with his wife Mollie and daughter Gretta.
- J. S. Bach, Chorales
- Frederik Chopin, Etudes
- Benjamin Britten, War Requiem
- Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, The Goat Rodeo Sessions
- Beach Boys, Pet Sounds
- Johannes Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem
- Arvo Pärt, The Woman With the Alabaster Box
- Herbert Howells, Requiem
- W. A. Mozart, Requiem
- Dirty Loops, Loopified
- Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn As Told by a Friend
- Roger Sessions, Roger Sessions on Music: Collected Essays
- Vince Flynn, Transfer of Power
- Johann Joseph Fux, Study of Counterpoint: From Johann Joseph Fux’s Gradus Ad Parnassum
- Ben Ratliff, The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music
This post contains affiliate links.