Based in Minneapolis, MN
“Much of my work is centered around ecology and conservation, with particular interest in landscapes of the Upper Midwest. My goal in composing landscape music is to depict the unique identity of each scene, reflect the serenity and wonder of the wilderness experience, and recognize the delicate connection between our actions and our environment.”
Katherine Bergman is a Minnesota-based composer who draws on literature, environmentalism, and found materials to create music that has been described as hypnotic and visceral. She has received commissions and performances from leading ensembles and festivals throughout the United States, including the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, The Dream Songs Project, RenegadeEnsemble, The Fourth Wall, and Nautilus Music-Theater. Her works have been presented at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, the College Band Directors National Association Conference, and The Upper Midwest Chamber Winds Symposium, and her compositions have received support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the Metro Regional Arts Council.
Katherine holds a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa School of Music, where she studied composition with Jonathan Schwabe and Alan Schmitz. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota with composition instructors including Michele Gillman and Steve Wright. She has studied extensively with Mary Ellen Childs, and has received individual instruction from Samuel Adler. Recent and upcoming projects include new works for the Minnesota Percussion Trio, Stone Arch Collective, Nexus Duo, violist Michael Hall, and Zeitgeist.
Katherine is Co-Founder and Artistic Co-Director of Spitting Image, a composer collective that brings together composers, listeners, and performers to strengthen the Twin Cities contemporary music community.
As a saxophonist, Katherine performs regularly in and around Minnesota, both in classical and jazz idioms. She has been named a Bjorling Scholar by Gustavus Adolphus College, and in 2007 she performed as a soloist with the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra (Concerto for Alto Saxophone by Pierre Max Dubois). She has studied saxophone with a variety of teachers, including Scott Kallestad, Chris Merz, Tom Barry, and John Engebretson. Katherine is a founding member of the Caprice Saxophone Quartet, performs with the Encore Wind Ensemble, and currently maintains a private studio of saxophone students.
“Superior” from Land of Cloud-Tinter Water (2016) performed by the Minnesota Percussion Trio (Robert Adney, Erik Barsness, Paul Hill).
“‘Superior’ comes from a larger work entitled Land of Cloud-Tinted Water, composed in 2016 for the Minnesota Percussion Trio, that portrays the beauty and diversity of five wilderness areas throughout the state of Minnesota. ‘Superior’ depicts the scenic overlook above sprawling lakeshore viewed from the Superior Hiking Trail near Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.”
earth sleeps below (2017) performed by Zeitgeist (Heather Barringer & Patti Cudd, percussion; Pat O’Keefe, bass clarinet; Nikki Melville, piano).
“earth sleeps below explores the boundless, mesmerizing winter landscape of Voyageurs National Park, a hidden gem in the National Parks system located on Minnesota’s northern border. Voyageurs consists of a vast area of interconnected lakes. Through earth sleeps below, I imagined the music beginning at surface level on one such frozen lake, and panning out to discover the multitude of surrounding waterways, all connected and flowing as one.”