Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. She has been hailed by The Boston Globe as "a composer of trenchant, sometimes discomfiting, power" and by The New Yorker for her "limpid, exacting vocalism, impetuous theatricality, and mastery of modernist style." A Pulitzer Prize finalist and 2024 Rome Prize fellow, Soper has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Koussevitzky Foundation, and has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, and Yarn/Wire. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Camargo Foundation, the Macdowell Colony, Tanglewood, and Royaumont, among others.
Praised by the New York Times for her "lithe voice and riveting presence," Soper performs frequently as a new music soprano. She has been featured as a composer/vocalist on the New York City-based MATA festival and Miller Theatre Composer Portraits series, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, and the LA Philharmonic's Green Umbrella Series. As a non-fiction and creative writer, she has been published by McSweeney's Quarterly, PAJ, the Massachusetts Review, Theory and Practice, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies.
Soper is a co-director and performer for Wet Ink, a New York-based new music ensemble dedicated to seeking out adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries. She is the Iva Dee Hiatt Professor of Music at Smith College.
Interviews and Podcasts
"An Eagerly Awaited Opera, Delayed by the Pandemic, Opens at Last" (The New York Times, 2023) article and interview
"From Medieval Romance to Contemporary Opera: Philosophy, Eros, Allegory" (PAJ, 2022) interview and libretto excerpt
Miller Theater: Mission Commission Season 2, podcast
Lexical Tones Episode 107 (2019), podcast
Adagio for Things S2E6: Clapping Music (2019), podcast (interview begins ca. 29')
Resonant Bodies Episode 47: Kate Soper (2019), podcast
"Five Questions to Kate Soper About Ipsa Dixit" (I Care if You Listen, October 2018), intervew
"Between Singing and Speaking" (The Organist, October 2018), podcast
An interview with Kate Soper (Believer Magazine, 2018), interview
"She tackled Aristolte in an opera. Next up: Medieval French couplets" (The New York Times, 2018), article and interview
"Kate Soper on IPSA DIXIT" (AXS, 2017) interview
"Kate Soper: Real Communication" (New Music Box, 2016), video interview and article
"Composer Profile: Kate Soper" (Musicakaleidoscope, 2016), article and interview
Credit Maggie Shannon, here and here
Credit Marco Giugliarelli for Civitella Ranieri Foundation, here
Credit Jim Gipe, here
Credit Gretchen Robinette, here
Credit Matt Zugale, here