Katrina Wreede

Composing Together Director and Teaching Composer


Katrina Wreede, composer and violist, is a tireless proponent for strings in jazz and contemporary chamber music. In addition to creating new works and performance opportunities in unusual venues, like her Drive-By Violas inside a Boston fruit stand and bus kiosk, she has been a professional symphony musician, a member of the ground-breaking Turtle Island String Quartet, a concert soloist, a belly dancer, a police finger-printer, a rhine-stone-studded “alto violinist” for royalty, a non-denominational wedding officiant, a student of Tango Nuevo, Persian and Roma music and a composer for chamber ensembles, orchestras, film, and dance. Jazz historian, Leonard Feather, credited her with having “extemporaneous mastery, rare, perhaps unique, in the annals of the viola.” Her compositions are performed and broadcast internationally including by the Ahn Trio, David Parsons Dance Troupe, the Omaha Symphony, Boston Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Tassajara Symphony, the Mill Valley Philharmonic, Orchestra Rosario in Argentina and durch Einsamkeiten in Germany.


In 2008, she founded and directs Composing Together, an organization that brings professional composers and musicians into schools. She is also a founding faculty member of the John Adams Young Composer Program at the Crowden School, she designed and led Berkeley Symphony’s Junior Composer Program, created and led the Berkeley Young Composers Ensemble, is a Certified Teaching Artist for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, a member of the Teaching Artists Guild and Teaching Artists Support Collective, and was a Composer in the Schools for the American Composers Forum-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter for nine years, including creating their handbook for professional composers working with teens. She has been on the Young Musicians Program faculty at the San Francisco Community Music Center for 8 years, where she started as a commissioned composer-in-residence, fell in love with their mission, and never left. She conducts educational clinics around the country, including “My Goldfish Died-Blues for Strings” and has provided training workshops for the American String Teachers Association, the Music Teachers Association of California, the Montana String Teachers Association, the San Francisco Unified School District, the Bronxville, New York USD, the Blue Valley USD in Overland, Kansas, the Nevada County USD, the Durham, North Carolina El Sistema program, and the Rocky Mountain Viola Society. Her CD, Add Viola and Stir, features some of her jazz, contemporary classical and “character” works for viola and is heard world-wide on radio and streaming sites. She is a contributing author of the American String Teachers Association book, Playing and Teaching the Viola and has contributed articles to the ASTA Journal, Journal of the American Viola Society, Strings Magazine and many other music-oriented periodicals.

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