Biography: Katrina Krimsky

Katrina Krimsky, pianist and composer of Russian descent, has developed an individual style blending the various sources of musical knowledge and experience she has absorbed through a lifetime devoted to music. Born and raised in the American South her musical studies began at a very early age with her mother, an accomplished pianist, and continued at the Eastman School of Music where she was a student of Cecile Staub Genhart. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in 1959. In the early ‘60s she joined the Piano Faculty at American University in Washington, D.C. and performed extensively as soloist and as keyboardist with the Ars Nova Trio. Seeking new horizons she traveled in the mid-’60s to the center of contemporary musical activity — Cologne, Germany where she was associated with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Henri Pousseur, Luc Ferrari and other prominent European composers and she performed recitals of 20th Century piano music. Returning to the States in 1967 she became a performer with the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts Ensemble in Buffalo, NY. As ‘The Pulse” she performed and recorded Terry Riley’s innovative work IN C for Columbia Records. She was also associated with many other composers including David Rosenboom, Jon Hassell, David Behrman, and later in New York City with La Monte Young as a member of his Eternal Dream House performing ensemble.

In 1972 she moved to San Francisco establishing herself prominently as pianist, improvising composer, and joined Terry Riley, Pandit Pran Nath, and Robert Ashley on the Music Faculty of Mills College. Katrina also sought connections to the jazz world and performed solo piano regularly at the jazz club Keystone Korner, listening to many of the master jazz musicians and performing with such greats as Woody Shaw and Bobby Hutcherson. Her first recording Katrina Krimsky in 1975 included works by Samuel Barber, Terry Riley, and Woody Shaw and subsequently she has released seven additional recordings. In Europe she performed with bassist Peter Kowald, and together with saxophonist Trevor Watts she recorded Stella Malu on ECM label. Her next release was her performance of The Baby’s Family Volumes 1 and 2 by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Composer/performer Irmin Schmidt of CAN recorded her music in the South of France and then produced her solo piano recording Ambrosia She was commissioned by the “Tage Für Neue Music” in Zurich for an ensemble version of Terry Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air. She concertized extensively with her performing ensemble including flautist Lisa Hansen and sitarist Krishna Bhatt and recorded her original compositions on Four Moons Together with her prominent former student Barbara Higbie, she was awarded a Djerassi Foundation residency. In 1998 appearing for the second time on the Merkin Hall Interpretations Series in New York she premiered Rhapsody for Two Pianos with Barbara Higbie, Bell Solaris composed for her by David Rosenboom, Superior Seven by Robert Ashley, and her own work Fluid Silk. Her devotion to and interest in World Music, in African-American Music, and in Contemporary Music enhances her own highly-developed discipline rooted in the European classical tradition and culminates in her individual style of musical expression as exemplified in her performances and recordings. Katrina has performed widely in the USA and in Europe and she maintains presence in both Zurich, Switzerland and San Francisco, California.