Carolyn Yarnell

Carolyn Yarnell

Carolyn Yarnell composes music ranging the gamut from serene to turbulent. Her craftsmanship and attention to detail is evident in every beautifully turned out score she produces.  She finds her sources of inspiration in nature, and in the wide vicissitudes of human nature and experience.

Yarnell's works have been performed by Kathleen Supove, Indianapolis Symphony, Albany Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, New Millennium Ensemble, Stephen Schultz, Tomoko Yazawa, American Baroque, The Afiara Quartet, and Oni Buchanan, to name a few.

Yarnell composed her first orchestra piece – fittingly titled First Music  – at age 22. It is an aural retelling of her birth from the moment of conception to the actual birth itself, graphically replicated in the visual layout of the score itself.

For her Fulbright study abroad, Yarnell chose Iceland rather than a European destination, in order to draw inspiration from the stark beauty of that place’s natural environment. The result was Living Mountains for orchestra.

Living in New York City drew out the composer’s edgier side, realized in electro-acoustic works such as Love God. In Rome for her yearlong residency with the Rome Prize, Yarnell was privileged to work in the very same atelier inhabited by the great Italian astronomer Galileo Galilee – in fact, the very same place in which he first discovered planets using his telescope. The resulting composition for piano and electronics is fittingly entitled The Same Sky.

Yarnell’s largest-scale work to date is Yosemite and the Range of Light, an orchestral work comprising 23+ individual movements. According to the composer, “I grew up in Yosemite, and have an intimate bond with the place: its history, nature and wildlife. In Albany 2007 I began this ambitious project with The Gold Country”, premiered by the Albany Symphony. The two newest movements of the set are Grizzly and Wawona. These reflect two polar opposite extremes of emotion – an aptly clear reflection of Yarnell’s personality as a composer of the 21st century.

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