Fresh Ink: An Evening with Katherine Balch

The Lesher Center for the Arts

The California Symphony and Walnut Creek Library Foundation’s Live from the Library series will host California Symphony’s outgoing Young American Composer in Residence (YACR), Katherine Balch, for a conversation about the World Premiere of her work – IlluminateIn this discussion, Katherine will shed light on her compositional and collaborative process with the California Symphony, her thoughts on the state of classical music, and her experience as the California Symphony’s Young American Composer in Residence. The program will include a Q+A session.

Katherine Balch is a composer interested in found sounds, playfulness, intimate spaces, and natural processes. Her previous commissions, like a broken clock (2018) and violin concerto Artifacts (2019), were acclaimed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “breathtakingly beautiful” and “sparklingly inventive.” Noting that she was the first female Composer-in-Residence for California Symphony, Balch has expressed from the start a commitment to relating her work to other female artists who have influenced and inspired her. Balch’s celebration of women continues in Illuminate, her third commission for California Symphony, which highlights the unique perspective of the female poets and performers of this work.

Renowned among composers and conductors across the US, the California Symphony’s Young American Composer in Residence program provides an American composer with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate with Music Director Cabrera and the California Symphony over three consecutive years to create, rehearse, premiere, and record three major orchestra compositions, one each season. Part of the California Symphony since 1991, every three years a new composer is selected, and every graduate has gone on to win top honors and accolades in the field.

See the World Premiere of Katherine Balch’s Illuminate on March 26-27, 2022 at the Lesher Center for the Arts. More info at

Special thank you to the Lesher Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Walnut Creek Library Foundation

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