Randa Kirshbaum is a composer and arranger working in New York City. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, she studied composition with Harrison Birtwistle and piano with Natalie Hinderas. Ms. Kirshbaum earned a Masters Degree in music composition from Columbia University, where her teachers were George Edwards and Jack Beeson. In summer 1978, she studied briefly with Donald Martino at Johnson State Composers’ Conference. Subsequently, she studied piano with Sophie Feuermann.
As a freelance composer/arranger her clients included New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet (where she wrote piano reductions of orchestral works for 15 years), NBC Television, CBS News Productions, Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, J@LC, jazz drummer Pete LaRoca, bassist Reggie Workman and many others. From 2008-2014 she was Director of Editorial at Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers in New York City.
Returning to freelance, Ms. Kirshbaum had a performance in 2016 of five string orchestra arrangements of Fritz Kreisler, commissioned by the Folkwang Kammerorchester, Essen; and a performance by Opera Parallèle of a reduced orchestration of Terence Blanchard’s opera Champion. In summer 2017 “Lied (ohne Worte)” and “Colombine”, two arrangements for violin and piano of works of Schönberg, were performed by Rolf Schulte at the Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna. In May 2019, her wind quintet arrangement of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite was performed by members of the Vienna Symphony at the Musikverein. In the same year, a reading of her orchestration of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps was recorded at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In 2020 her string quartet Oedipus Suite was awarded finalist standing at the Bruno Maderna Composition Competition, Lviv. In 2021, her chamber orchestra work, The Planets and the Sun, was recorded by the Brno Philharmonic, Czech Republic for Ablaze Records. Her 14-piece reduced orchestration of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Ballet was just completed, along with 8 string orchestra arrangements of Brahms's late works, and wind quintet arrangements of Dvořák's Slavonic Dances. She also had a recording of a Rilke Lied for voice and piano. Ms. Kirshbaum is currently working on a string sextet.
- Dvořák: Slavonic Dances arranged for wind quintet, 2022-23
- Transcribed Thad Jones’s big band arrangement of “For the Love of Money” will be performed in Summer 2022 by 3rd Stream Big Band in Atlanta GA
- Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite for woodwind quintet, performed at Vienna’s Musikverein 2019 by members of the Vienna Symphony, and at Lincoln Center Library outdoors 2021, with members of Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Reduced orchestration of Pulcinella Ballet
- Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps, arr. for chamber orchestra, 2019
- Arnold Schönberg: “VI. Lied (ohne Worte)” from Serenade op.24 , arranged for violin/piano, 2017, performed at the Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna
- Brahms: "Preludes, Intermezzi und Gesänge", arranged for string orchestra
- Ravel: “Forlane” and "Rigaudon" from Le Tombeau de Couperin, arranged for Violin/Piano, the latter premiered at Concord Library, 2023
- Terence Blanchard: Reduced orchestration of Champion, 2016
- Blue Note Records: Green/Coltrane: arrangement of “Body and Soul” for Pete LaRoca’s Grammy-nominated CD Swingtime, 1999
- “An der sonngewohnten Straße” and “Liebeslied” for soprano and piano, two poems of R-M Rilke
- The Planets and the Sun for chamber orchestra, recorded by Brno Philharmonic for Ablaze Records, released 2022
- Oedipus Suite for string quartet, recorded by Phoenix Quartet, Lviv
- "Also Known" for solo clarinet
- CBS News Productions, “The Point: NYC Garbage Crisis”
- TV Land, “TV Moguls of the 1960s” and “1980s”
EDITOR / COPYIST
- Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., Director of Editorial, supervising the production of contemporary classical music of such composers as Osvaldo Golijov, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Carlisle Floyd, Claude Vivier, and many others (2008 to 2014).
- Chief Editor for Jazz at Lincoln Center, she wrote their Publications House Style for Jazz (1995-2000).
- Donald Martino’s Bach Chorale Harmonizations, engraved for Dantalian, 1983.
- Elliott Carter’s Harmony, copyist, published by Carl Fischer, 2002.
- Copyist for 2011 German Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, featuring Charles Tolliver and Archie Shepp playing Coltrane’s Africa Brass
- Copyist for 2009 Monk at Town Hall, the tentet arrangements transcribed by Charles Tolliver. RK transcribed several Monk solos
- Oxford University Press: Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (copyist of music examples), 1998.
- Director of “Music in a Garden” concert series, at the West Side Community Garden, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, 2008 to present. The series features classical and jazz music.