"ethereal vocal music" — New York Times
"excellent and incisive" — Washington Post
"striking and intense" — Chicago Classical Review
Joan Szymko is a composer whose choral works are widely performed across North America and beyond. While using a familiar musical vocabulary her compositions are nonetheless fresh and engaging. Compelling and inspiring, her text selections are as notable as her music.
Composing for vocal ensembles is an extension of Szymko's creativity as a choral director; her passion for the art of singing, an embodied approach to sound, her dedication to storytelling and an insistence on quality texts all relate to her predilections as a conductor and are reflected in her choral compositions.
Szymko lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. She is in her 20th season as the Artistic Director of Aurora Chorus (Portland, Oregon). She recently joined the Music School faculty at Portland State University as director of Vox Femina women's chorus. Joan has also been a resident composer with Do Jump! Movement Theater since 1995.