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.
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
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.