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Kari Besharse

Covington, LA         

Continuously exploring the myriad ways that music intersects with science, nature, and the human world, Kari Besharse’s compositional output spans various facets within the field of contemporary music, fully engaging new technological resources as well as traditional instruments and ensembles. Her works, which incorporate sounds from acoustic instruments, found objects, the natural world, and sound synthesis, are often generated from a group of sonic objects or material archetypes that are subjected to processes inspired by nature, physics and computer music. Kari was awarded the Bourges Residence Prize for Small Things, an electroacoustic work written in Csound and Protools, which uses the sounds of the frogs and insects of Austin, Texas as its source material. Additional honors have come from the Tuscaloosa New Music Collective (honorable mention), Look and Listen Festival Prize (semi-finalist), the ASCAP Young Composers Competition (finalist), and the INMC Competition (finalist).


Recent projects include Everyone…Everything for toy piano trio and found percussion objects, Verklingend, a work for haegeum, a traditional Korean instrument and chamber ensemble for Ensemble Mise-en, and Tabula 51, a work for tuba and live electronics for Aaron Hynds. Embers, a work for saxophone and piano commissioned by Richard Schwartz, is the title track of an album released in 2014 on the Centaur label. Additionally, her music has been presented around the world by organizations and ensembles such as Loadbang, Accordant Commons, The Empyrean Ensemble, The California Ear Unit, The East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Society of Composers, Inc., Texas Computer Musicians Network, The LaTex Festival, The Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, ICMC, SEAMUS, Bourges, Elektrophonie, Third Practice, 60X60, The Electroacoustic Juke Joint Festival, New Music Forum, Pulse Field, Art of Sounds Festival at Belgrade, Serbia, mise-en festival, soundON festival, trombonist Benjamin Lanz and violist Michael Hall.


Currently an instructor at University of New Orleans, Dr. Besharse has also taught music theory, music history, and electronic music courses at Southeastern Louisiana University, Illinois Wesleyan and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kari’s education includes undergraduate studies at UMKC (B.M. ‘98), and graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin (M.M. ‘02) and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (D.M.A. ‘09). Kari is the director of Versipel New Music in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Articles by Kari Besharse:

Headlines July 19 2011 | By Kari Besharse
Mizzou New Music Summer Festival: Wrap

What a week. The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival proved to be an intense, non-stop learning experience. Right from the beginning, I felt like I had been dropped down into...

Headlines July 18 2011 | By Kari Besharse
Mizzou New Music Summer Festival: The Importance of Patronage

One of the things about the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival that has absolutely captivated me this week is the personal role that one of the primary donors, Dr. Jeanne...

Headlines July 16 2011 | By Kari Besharse
Mizzou New Music Summer Festival: Composers with “Concerns”

Here in Columbia, we have experienced much of the usual light-hearted camaraderie and goofing off that makes these types of festivals super fun, but we have also had an enormous...

Headlines July 13 2011 | By Kari Besharse
Mizzou New Music Summer Festival: First Impressions

There is not much about Columbia, Missouri, that screams NEW MUSIC, and it may seem an unlikely place to host a vibrant festival with headlining names such as Roger Reynolds...