Tim Kiah, Visiting Artist
Tim Kiah began his musical studies at the Boston Boy Choir School at a young age where he had the opportunity to perform with Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. Tim studied composition at the Eastman School of Music while obtaining a degree Nursing from the University of Rochester. He also received an MFA in Music from the City College of New York where he studied composition with David Del Tredici and double bass with Ron Carter.
Upon moving to New York in 2002, he formed a group called Nurse Kaya in an effort to emphasize the healing nature of music. Comprised of string players and percussion, Nurse Kaya composed, rehearsed, and performed as a collective. As part of the group's mission to bring new music to challenged audiences, the ensemble, dressed in medical attire, performed in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons. In 2005, Nurse Kaya was awarded a grant from Chamber Music America to tour the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado and was featured by ASCAP and on NPR.
Tim is also a member of a quintet called Sotto Voce which blends poetry, improvisation, and art song. The ensemble, led by saxophonist Roy Nathanson, performs internationally and has been aired on NPR, BBC, and NDR (the equivalent of NPR in Germany). They also work with conducting workshops for teens from around the world to combine music composition and poetry. As an arranger, his work was performed by Debbie Harry and the Northern Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra in 2011 in Newcastle, England. His wind quintet and string quartet reduction of The Nutcracker for the Gusto Chamber Players was premiered this past December. As a composer, Kiah was commissioned by La Mama Theatre for a multimedia production of Homer's The Odyssey in 2004, and had his symphonic works performed by The Chelsea Symphony, of which he is also a member. He has also been commissioned to write a piece for the Washington Square Winds which will be performed in May.
Tim has also performed and recorded with Joan La Barbara and Lenny Kravitz. In addition, he has recorded a children's album with his band Astrograss produced by Dan Zanes. He currently resides in Brooklyn.