About Anne Kilstofte

     Those who love to teach envelop their teaching into their music.  American composer Anne Kilstofte's music shows her love of the music and culture of the world and the evolution of American music.  Her commitment to nature, the ethnic influences of our global community, jazz, and her fascination with light and stars can be found in many of her works.  Her works have been called "lush," "inventive," "luminous," as well as "dramatically innovative and pulsating."



      Her compositions have been performed internationally throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America and she has received awards and honors from institutions throughout the United States and other countries including the Fulbright Foundation, the Council on International Exchange of Scholars, ASCAP, the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, Samtida Musik, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Arizona Humanities Commission, the Bush Artist Fellowship, the Miriam Gideon Award, the American Composers Forum, and the American Prize. 
     Dr. Kilstofte was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar as a composer and ethnomusicologist and took her family to Tallinn, Estonia for a year where she taught studio composition and workshops on American music, while researching the differences in composition of Estonian composers under Soviet and post-Soviet regimes, interviewing composers such as Veljo Tormis and Arvo Pärt and composing works for her Fulbright Series Concert presented in May that year.   

     Ms. Kilstofte holds a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from the University of Minnesota, studying with Pulitzer-prize winning composer and Professor Emeritus Dominick Argento, Professor Emeritus Paul Fetler, and independently with Libby Larsen; a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Colorado where she studied with Cecil Effinger, piano with Paul Parmelee, and voice with Barbara Doscher. 

     Since moving back to the Sonoran Desert her compositions reflect two themes -  her love of desert landscapes and ecology, and sacred music.  She often composes for the churches around the Phoenix area as well as other churches around the world.  She wrote over 15 pieces for the American Lutheran Church, for choir, the Casavant Fréres pipe organ, handbells, brass quintet, and indigenous instruments.   

Check out her works list or sign up for Newest Notes - email updates.  Dr. Kilstofte was recently invited by Charles Bruffy to sell some of her sacred work through the Charles Bruffy Series at MusicSpoke.  Other music is exclusively published through Kaska Publishing Company.

Traditional Biographical Sketch

Composer Anne Kilstofte began her career as a professional pianist, and regularly collaborates or is in-residence with international ensembles, universities, and sacred organizations. Her work as an educator and musician has varied between different age groups and didactic goals. For example, while an assistant professor and composer-in-residence at Hamline University (1995-2007), she served as a composer/mentor to topranking high school students through Hennepin County (Minneapolis), created cultural diversity student-composer projects with Hancock Elementary School students (a primarily Hmong school), taught Music in World Cultures students on the Gamelan installation at Hamline, and led a pilot project for the state of Minnesota to raise graduation standards for public schools. 

As an educator at Glendale Community College since 2008, she became one of the first online instructors in music, certifies peer-reviewed online courses, was named an Outstanding Adjunct at GCC, and a Master Teacher in the Maricopa County Community College District. She is an instructional designer in online coursework, and teaches courses in musicology and ethnomusicology at GCC.  She is a writer, and has written for major newspapers in Denver and St. Paul, and is a concert and recording producer, producing concerts of international luminaries for Boettcher Concert Hall, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the American Composers Forum, and independently under her own label. As president of the International Alliance for Women in Music in 2008, she created a week-long conference of concerts and events in Beijing, China with representatives from twenty-one countries, helped develop the IAWM Congress in Flagstaff in 2011, and served in different positions on the Executive Committee of SCI, Society of Composers, Incorporated from 2008 to 2015, the IAWM from 1997-2011, and the American Composers Forum from 1991-1997. 

Among her honors, Dr. Kilstofte was named a full-year Fulbright Senior Scholar as part of the Council on International Exchange of Scholars and the Fulbright Association to teach, compose, and research at the Estonian Academy of Music in Tallinn, Estonia. Her composition awards include The American Prize Judges’ Citation for Unique Artistic Excellence, the Miriam Gideon Award from the Search for New Music, through the International Alliance for Women in Music, as well as grants from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, the Bush Artist Fellowship, the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Arizona Humanities, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. 

She received her Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Minnesota, studying with Pulitzer-prize winner Dominick Argento, and privately with Grammy-award winning composer Libby Larsen. She also holds a Masters of Music in Composition, and a Bachelor of Science in Music and Media in Sound Design/Synthesis, Recording, and Music Business from the University of Colorado. 

Dr. Kilstofte has taught studio composition and piano, sound design, music theory, arts marketing, intellectual property rights, desktop publishing and music engraving, and Honors Courses in counterpoint, theory, special studies, and musicology.  She volunteers at Silver Spur Therapeutic Riding Center for individuals with Special Needs.