Dr. Amy Engelsdorfer is a relative newcomer to composition. She holds a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Kentucky (1993), a master of music in flute performance (2000) and a master of arts in music theory (2001) from the University of Kentucky, and a PhD in music theory from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2010), where one of the first people she met was Lelia Molthrop Sadlier, fellow Polymnia composer. Dr. Engelsdorfer is currently Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Music History at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, home to one of the largest undergraduate music programs in the country. She has presented papers on music theory topics throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, and England.
Dr. Engelsdorfer began composing in 2009 during a teacher training program at the Walden School, a summer preparatory program for young composers. “[Walden instructor] Bill Stevens simply came up to me and told me I was going to write a piece, which was news to me, since I never considered myself to be a composer,” she recalls. That first summer she wrote “And This Is Me,” the text written by her mother when she was 18 years old. Several compositions followed at the Walden Creative Musicians Retreat, including “In My Father’s House” for unaccompanied SATB choir, and “All the Hemispheres,” the text a poem by Hafiz. Dr. Engelsdorfer has studied with Shawn Crouch, Loretta Notareschi, Caroline Mallonée, James Mobberly, and Martin Bresnick through the Creative Musicians Retreat program. Dr. Engelsdorfer has had several of her compositions premiered at Luther and has written several compositions that have been premiered by the choirs at Luther, including “Amazing Grace” and “This Is My Father’s World.”
Dr. Engelsdorfer is also an accomplished flutist, and while her work has been almost exclusively in the choral realm, she looks forward to writing more for instruments in the near future.
You can find Amy Engelsdorfer's music here.