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Paula M. Kimper
Paula M. Kimper


Paula Kimper, Composer, b. 1956, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has been active in New York City for over 30 years as a composer of opera, theater, dance, film and song.  Her entire catalogue of scores was recently acquired by the Loeb Music Library of Harvard University.

Ms. Kimper’s first opera, Patience & Sarah, premiered in Lincoln Center Festival ’98. The Captivation of Eunice Williams, commissioned by the PVMA of Deerfield, MA, premiered in July 2004, and was most recently performed in Skopje, Macedonia.  The Bridge of San Luis Rey, based on Thornton Wilder’s novel, was seen at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA in 2007.  Ms. Kimper’s latest opera TRUTH, An American Opera about Sojourner Truth, premiered in February 2012 at the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA. The chamber version, performed by Paula Kimper Ensemble, appeared in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival, and in 2014 at Riverside Theatre inside Historic Riverside Church. “Here is a Place” was commissioned by OPERA America for “The OPERA America Songbook” to commemorate the 2012 opening of the National Opera Center in New York City. ONE ART was commissioned by soprano Laure Meloy who stars in the one-woman opera/cabaret based on Elizabeth Bishop’s life and poetry.

Kimper has received commissions from American Opera Projects, Amy Pivar Dances, Downtown Music Productions, Richard Daniels, Femme Lunatique Productions, New York Festival of Song, Old Deerfield Productions, OPERA America, The Phoenix Concerts, The Walt Whitman Project and others.

In 2013 Paula Kimper Ensemble became a participant in the New York Opera Alliance (NYOA) and Paula is currently director of the Executive Committee of NYOA.  She was one of five inaugural participants in the Columbia University Community Scholars Program (2013-16).




  1. Hello Paula Kimper,
    Hope this message will find you well and enjoying your musical life.
    Many years ago, my son, Mark Wedderburn, had a music teacher with the same name as yours, but I remembered the last name as, Kemper, until I found today a return address on a christmas card you sent to Mark.

    The return address reads as follows:
    Paula Kimper
    102 Wyckoff St., 1L
    Bklyn, NY 11201

    If this is you, you would be pleased to know that Mark kept up with his music and is an organist in Queens, NY. He has also played piano and keyboard with bands and church groups.

    I hope to hear from you and I thank you very much for realizing Mark’s musical ability and for your inspiration. He has never forgotten you. His first recital with he played ,”When the Saints go Marching In.”
    God Bless you so very much.
    Angelia Wedderburn

  2. Hi Paula!

    Greetings and salutations. Hope you’re doing well.

    On March 11th, the Center for Contemporary Opera will present a workshop or ‘atelier’ of my new music-theater piece, “Big Jim and the Small-time Investors”. In lieu of the intended larger orchestration, this workshop will be accompanied by accordion and electronic keyboard, both instruments that will play a large role in the final orchestration and that present some of the biggest challenges. The accordionist will be Bill Schimmel so I don’t have many worries there. But I have not been able to find a keyboardist who is familiar with the possibilities of digital keyboards and I feel that is key.

    I don’t have much experience with programming myself so I am looking for help beyond what is in the notated score. I offered the gig to Patrick Grant but unfortunately he is not available. I have asked him and some others for recommendations but have not so far succeeded in finding the right person for the gig. It occurred to me that you be able to play or might have some suggestions.

    I can, of course, provide more information about the project to you or anyone you might recommend.

    Many thanks for any help you can give and all best wishes.


  3. Dear Ray, thanks so much for your message. Sadly, MERCY is an unpublished collection which I had access to because Ms. Gardinier is a close personal friend. However, I am proud to say that I set a lyric of hers for the Opera America Songbook, which can be found on volume III, track 10, “Here is a Place.”
    Here is the link:

  4. My (relatively) new husband and I had the pleasure of hearing “MERCY: The Grandmother Poems” at last Friday evening’s SongFusion concert. Thank you so much for your very beautiful music! Thank you also for bringing Suzanne Gardinier’s touching poetry to our attention. Noting with chagrin Ms Gardinier’s underrepresentation in our library, I happily got two wonderful collections — “The New World” and “Iridium” — yesterday at the Strand. I’ve been unable, however, to locate the full collection of “Mercy” poems (the 99 that you mentioned after the concert); have they not been published? Thank you, Ms Kimper, for any light you can shed on this — and, again, for your music. –Ray Warman

  5. Nice meeting you, even briefly, at the premiere of Gerald Cohen’s opera “Steal a Pencil for Me”. Please let me know when your “Truth” will be in NYC. I don’t want to miss it. Good luck and best wishes,
    Mina Crasson

    • Mina, great to meet you, too! See you at the opera.

    • Mina, I hope you can attend one of the shows this summer. Dates are posted on my home page. Best, Paula.

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