Adventurous composer Carson Kievman is dead


Carson Kievman at a fundraiser in Miami for Sobe Arts

The longtime Miami resident has made a major contribution to local culture and music education.

MIAMI, FL, USA, November 11, 2021 / – Carson Kievman, Miami-based composer, producer and educator, has passed away at the age of 72. Kievman was an integral member of the South Florida music scene. Along with his many contributions, Kievman founded the SoBe Arts Institute in Miami Beach. Born in Los Angeles, Kievman had been part of the South Florida music scene since the 1970s. In the late 1980s, he was the composer of the Florida Philharmonic, for which he wrote his second symphony. Kievman will write 6 other symphonies during his life.

Kievman briefly left South Florida for a doctoral program at Princeton University, but returned to found Sobe Arts, a school that offered financial aid to musically gifted middle and high school students. The school was also the base for SoBe Arts, Kievman’s arts company, which produced several of his musical theater works.

Prior to his stay in Miami, Kievman studied with Earl Brown at the California Institute of the Arts. He also had two residences in Paris, with the famous French composer Olivier Messiaen. While in Paris, he attended the famous summer studies in Darmstadt, known as a gathering place for avant-garde composers in the 1960s. While in Darmstadt, Kievman worked with visionaries such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Nono and Luciano Berio. In 1977, Kievman became a Bernstein Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. While at Tanglewood, his score for “Wake Up, It’s Time to go to bed” was produced with great success. The following year, Kievman became composer in residence at the Public Theater in New York City, working under the direction of the legendary Joseph Papp, writing new works and accompanying scores for plays.

During his lifetime, Kievman’s work included 10 operas, eight symphonies and numerous pieces of chamber and choral music. Kievman had a unique voice and enriched the South Florida music scene with his vast and innovative contributions.

Carl Kruse, curator of the Carl Kruse’s Blog, was actively involved in SoBe Arts, organizing fundraisers for the organization and serving on the project board from 2010 to 2014. With the blog, he offers his condolences to the friends and family of Carson Kievman.

Carl Kruse
Carl Kruse’s blog
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