Kurt Gellersted is a man of many musical faces. Most notably, he is an acclaimed young composer within New York City's Modern Concert Music scene. Recently, the world premiere recording of Kurt's 8-movement choral work, "Requiem" was featured on "Theme and Variations", a National Public Radio show hosted by William Everet who introduced the work excitedly as "something on a bit of a grand scale".
A native of the Chicago suburbs, Kurt spent his undergrad years at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, world-renown for its focus on Choral music. There, he studied voice with Jon Clements, and composition with Dr. John H. Morrison as well as performing with many Luther choirs. In May of 2000, Kurt received his B.A. Degree with an emphasis in Vocal Performance and Composition.
In September of 2000, Kurt landed at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education where he began his Graduate work in Music Composition, studying with Dr. Justin Dello Joio. In December of 2001, Kurt made his conducting debut when the NYU University Singers, of which Kurt was a member, premiered his chamber choir piece "He Is The Spirit". After hearing the selection, Dr. Jeffrey Unger, Director of the NYU Choral Program, was intrigued. When he learned that Kurt's next piece was to be his 8-movement "Requiem", Dr. Unger asked if he could hear bits of the then unfinished score. Upon playing through some movements at the piano, Dr Unger knew the piece would be a perfect closer for the University Singers' upcoming Spring Concert, which was to be held in memory of the World Trade Center Tragedy.
At the premiere of "Requiem", Dr. Unger announced, "We have a major new talent among us!" On hand for the performance were the 30-person University Singers Chamber Choir and NYU Faculty soloists supported by a 23-person chamber orchestra compiled of Manhattan School of Music students and other area musicians. Upon hearing the piece, Luther College Nordic Choir Director Weston Noble hailed, "Bravo! A gifted orchestrator. I was drawn to it."
In May of 2002, Kurt received his M.A. in Music Composition from NYU. He interned Part-Time for Disney's Broadway Production, "The Lion King", assisting the Music Director/Principal Conductor, Joseph Church. Kurt then went on to collaborate on the music for an independent animation film short by Alisa Harris.
Currently, Kurt is assisting cellist/composer Erik Friedlander with his documentary film score work for PBS, which began with preparing parts and coordinating recording sessions last winter for the recently aired series "Kingdom of David". Kurt is also composing a 15 minute choral work to be premiered at Lincoln Center's Merkin Hall in February 2004. Other projects include a pop/rock project of original material entitled "Scribble Scrabble" (Due out in Fall 2003) as well as developing a new stage musical with Actor/Playwright Will Brumley of the Barfly Studio.
Check out www.KurtGellersted.com for more info and free music.