Michael Kaulkin (b. 1967) is active as a teacher and composer in the San Francisco Bay Area. His choral, orchestral and chamber music has been performed around the world. Recent popular choral works include The Noble Art of Music (2017), a 2-minute choral fanfare, and Tumbalalayka (2015), an arrangement of the popular Yiddish folksong. He is the 2020-21 winner of the Organization of American Kodály Educators’ (OAKE) Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize.
By Hook or by Crook (2020) is the 1st Place winner of the Quadre horn quartet‘s 2020 International Composition Competition, and will be premiered during the 2020-2021 season. Other chamber works include Zwei Hülshoff Lieder (2015), for soprano, clarinet, viola and piano, American Standard for clarinet and piano, and City Walks (2009) for string quartet, which was a finalist for The American Prize in 2015.
Kaulkin’s orchestra piece Misterium Tremendum won the San Francisco Conservatory’s annual Highsmith Prize in 2000 and was later performed by the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Other orchestral pieces include Letter to Hungary (2005), for string orchestra and Cycle of Friends (1996) for soprano solo, SATB chorus and chamber orchestra.
A native of Washington, D.C., Kaulkin studied composition with Joseph Castaldo at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, followed by 3 years’ post-graduate study at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, under the tutelage of composer János Vajda and choral conductor István Párkai. He earned his Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied composition with Conrad Susa.
On the Musicianship and Composition faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory’s Pre-College Division since 2008, Kaulkin has also served on the faculties of Berkeley’s Crowden School, at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA) and the Academy of Art University. An avid adopter and adapter of the Kodály Method in teaching Musicianship, he has served on the faculties of summer Kodály programs at Holy Names University and Portland State University.
Kaulkin is also the founder of Swirly Music – a web platform enabling self-publishing composers to make their work available in print, and he is currently serving as General Manager for the acclaimed chamber choir San Francisco Choral Artists.