Karl Larson is devoted teacher, chamber musician, and soloist. An avid performer of contemporary music, Karl has premiered many solo piano and chamber works, including David Rakowski’s recently completed Preludes for Piano: Book I, which he subsequently recorded in 2012. Karl is also well versed in the canonic repertoire of the 20th century with performances spanning from Boulez to Reich. Recent performances of note include a program devoted to the music of Olivier Messiaen, presented at Oakland University and the Omaha Conservatory of Music, and Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories, For Bunita Marcus, and Palais de mari. These late Feldman works were performed over the course of two daysat the Toledo Museum of Art in conjunction with an exhibition of Jules Olitski’s colorfield and abstract expressionist period canvases.
A sought after collaborator, Karl has consistently engaged in adventurous performances both inside and outside of academia. He has made frequent appearances with the BGSU New Music Ensemble, most recently as the soloist for Alban Berg’s monumental Chamber Concerto for Violin, Piano, and 13 Winds. Karl has also recently performed with members of the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Eighth Blackbird, the California E.A.R. Unit, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Sleeping Giant Composers Collective.
Larson is the artistic director and a founding member of the Color Field Ensemble, a collective of musicians and composers dedicated to the promotion and performance of a variety of contemporary genres. Since its inception in 2010, Larson and the Color Field Ensemble have performed at many notable venues, including the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Fredonia, the Ball State New Music Festival, and the Contagious Sounds Series at the Gershwin Hotel in New York City. The Color Field Ensemble has commissioned and premiered a number of works, including compositions by James Holt, Robert Honstein, Christopher Dietz, Ravi Kittappa, and Jeff Weston. Most recently, the Color Field Ensemble received a Classical Commissioning Grant from Chamber Music America, which will be used to commission a new piece from Chris Cerrone, which will be premiered during the summer of 2013.
Karl Larson is also an active curator of new music concerts and events. Along with Ravi Kittappa, Larson runs Permutations, a Harlem based monthly event featuring new music and art of all styles of genres. The series was created for young professional musicians and artists as a method of raising funds for progressive projects. Karl also curates the Color Field Festival, which takes place every summer in Madison, WI. A multi-day event, the Color Field Festival features performances of new music by the Color Field Ensemble, as well as a series of guest artists. Past guest artists include guitarist Derek Johnson, percussionist Owen Weaver, Concert Black, the Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and installation artist Alejandro Acierto. The 2013 festival will feature the Anubis Saxophone Quartet and the Teague Percussion Trio.
Karl received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music and a Master of Music in Piano Performance at Bowling Green State University, where he studied with Dr. Laura Melton. Larson completed his undergraduate degree at Luther College in Decorah Iowa as a pupil of Dr. John Strauss. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.