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Kurt Ellenberger

Kurt Ellenberger is a pianist/composer/author who enjoys listening to a wide variety of music while making his own excellent wine, and tending to his small flock of sheep.

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About Me

Kurt Ellenberger is a pianist, composer, and author whose work includes music for a wide range of ensembles. His writings include a jazz theory book, other pedagogical writings, and many essays that appeared in his arts blog entitled Also Sprach FraKathustra, which was published from 2010-2017 by The Huffington Post–Arts and Culture.

He has recorded on Innova Recordings, Ghostly International, and Challenge-A Records (the Netherlands), among others, and has been hailed as “a gifted pianist who combines the lyricism of Bill Evans with the energy of Keith Jarrett.” He is a member of the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, whose recent recordings of Terry Riley’s “IN C: Remixed” and Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians” have been featured in The New York Times, as well as in many of the nation’s leading publications, including The New Yorker. Ellenberger is a faculty member in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University, where he has been teaching since 1999. He is also a Fulbright Scholar who taught in Austria at the Kunstuniversität Graz (University of the Arts in Graz) and serves as artistic advisor on the Board of Trustees for the city of Mannheim, Germany.

My Jazz Story

I heard the Stan Kenton band when I was about 12, in a live concert on NPR. I was transfixed. Shortly after that, I heard Holst's "The Planets" on the same Detroit NPR TV station. I went out and bought albums from both and thus began my lifelong love of jazz and classical music.

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