Katharina S. G. Mueller

Katharina Mueller (b. 2001) is a writer and classical composer, interested especially in the synthesis of these mediums and in natural interrelation of the arts: music and writing based on visual art, pairings of writing and music. Her musical work, like her writing, centers emotional narrative and the development of contrasting characters, with the added layer of fostering the performer’s intimacy with the music, and inviting the presence of the audience.

Katharina has composed since the start of her relationship to the violin at age 7, and is a proud alumna of the Vermont Music-Comp program. Interests that feed into her creative work include social justice, environmental justice and queer studies; linguistics, rhetoric, poetry and the musicality of language; psychology, and the physics and chemistry of our world. The original texts to her art songs and larger choral works are most often the poetic distillation of a philosophy or observation of the human conduction extracted from a larger writing project. The focus of her instrumental works lies especially on colorations of orchestration, extending the natural qualities of musical instruments into new worlds of timbre, and constructing dense textures based on mathematical transformations of musical elements. In addition to works for professional musicians, she specializes in creating pedagogical materials, and customized pieces for youth ensembles. She has experience as a music educator, first and foremost through Vermont Music-Comp as a composition mentor, then during a gap year teaching rudimentary piano at the Greifmusik school in Wohlgast, Germany, and is currently a tutor in music theory and music history.

Katharina’s first orchestral work, “A Fairytale without Red” was premiered by the Vermont Philharmonic when she was 18 (2019). Her choral piece “To the Dawn” was awarded the Composition Scholarship and Scholarship Performance at the 2020 Vermont Allstate Music Festival. “Tongues of Fire” was commissioned and premiered by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra directed by Jaime Laredo at the Vermont Statehouse (2020). Her piano trio “August” was performed by the the Northern Third Piano Quartet in collaboration with Vermont Public Radio (2020), and her chamber pieces “Middlegrounds” and “Nobody” were premiered at the Yellow Barn Young Artist’s Program (2022). Katharina has been commissioned by several youth orchestras and ensembles, including the Green Mountain Youth Symphony, the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and most recently, the North Ohio Youth Orchestra. 

Katharina is currently pursuing a BM in music composition at Oberlin Conservatory with Stephen Hartke, along with a Creative Writing BA at Oberlin College. She is currently the Arlene and Larry Dunn composer in residence for the North Ohio Youth Orchestra 2022-2023 season.