Short Biography, Word

Short Biography, PDF


“Music exists in an infinity of sound. I think of all music as existing in the substance of the air itself. It is the composer’s task to order and make sense of sound, in time and space, to communicate something about being alive through music.”

Libby Larsen

Libby Larsen (b. 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2024), she has composed over 500 works including orchestra, opera, vocal and chamber music, symphonic winds, and band. Her work is widely recorded. An advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum. Grammy Award winner and former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony. From 2014-2020 as, Artistic Director of the John Duffy Institute for New Opera, she guided a faculty of practicing professional artists in nurturing and production of new opera by American Composers. Larsen’s 2017 biography, Libby Larsen: Composing an American Life, Denise Von Glahn, author, is available from the University Illinois Press.


To obtain reprint permission for photos displayed on this website, please submit a request to Credit for the publicity photos located below is attributed to photographer Ann Marsden.

Download all press photos

Libby Larsen
Clarinet shot
Libby 1
Library of Congress
Workshop shot