photo: Tom Moore Studios

“A new voice on our horizon is felt and heard with [composer] Debra Kaye” (Classical Modern Music Review). Her visceral music has been described as “an eclectic unfolding of creativity” (Gramophone), it ranges from lyrical to grooving, experimental to coloristic. Winner of six Global Music Awards, Kaye’s catalog of chamber and orchestral music, art songs, choral, and theatrical works continues to expand through her steady stream of commissions and collaborations. 

Selected highlights and awards include commissions from the Howland Chamber Music Circle, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and Kyo-Shin-An Arts, awards from ASCAP Plus, premieres at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and performances with such acclaimed artists as the Lincoln Trio and Daedalus Quartet. The Off-Broadway production of The Ugly Duckling, produced by Literally Alive Family Theater garnered enthusiastic notice in the New York Times in each of its three extended runs. 

Kaye is recognized with grants from Meet the Composer, Mannes College, New School University, the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Atlanta Music Teachers Association, and the Edward T. Cone Foundation. She has held composing residencies at the Millay Colony and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. An advocate for new music, Kaye serves on the board of the New York Women Composers and is an associate director with Composers Concordance. Interviews with the composer have appeared in the online magazine HokToc, and in Adriano Bassi’s book, A Guide to Women Composers (Odoyo). 

New Music USA’s New Music Box published a series of Kaye’s articles about the process and inspiration for her music. Other selected media credits include radio play on Chicago’s WFMT, Classical Discoveries (WPRB, Princeton) and Berkeley’s KALX. Kaye has been featured in interviews on WMHT (Albany), WRUU (Savannah), and has been a featured composer on “Music of our Mothers” on WFCF, the Flagler College station. 

Kaye’s debut Ravello Records album AND SO IT BEGINS was produced by GRAMMY-winning audio engineer Judith Sherman and was on Ted Gioia’s list of top 100 CD’s, and has been described as, “…inspirational, an album that will surely stand the test of time” ( The acclaimed release of Kaye’s solo violin work, Turning in Time, was written for violin virtuoso Kinga Augustyn and was featured on Augustyn’s album of the same name, hailed as “a tour de force” by New York Concert Review.

Kaye is a graduate of Mannes College of Music and New York University and served on the faculty of the Mannes College Preparatory Division from 1991 to 2018. When not composing, she loves reading, playing, and the company of friends and nature. Kaye is a life-long diarist and an avid amateur photographer.


Ikarus Among the Stars

Release Date: May 26, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6521
21st Century
String Quartet
There are many composers who intertwine eclectic influences into one coherent picture, but few people do it as ambitiously and convincingly as New York City based composer Debra Kaye. On IKARUS AMONG THE STARS, she vibrantly explores themes both real and surreal, perpetual and fleeting, nonchalant, and profound. Kaye's sources of inspiration are unnumbered; it seems there is nothing which she cannot turn into a composition. The works presented (two of them multiple award winners) draw their inspiration from Spanish poetry, real-life tragedy, and from the pieces of fellow contemporary composers. All of these sources are woven together by Kaye's measured choice of tonality, and the resulting tapestry is remarkable.

Inviting Worlds Vol 2

Release Date: August 12, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6445
21st Century
Large Ensemble
Hot on the heels of its first edition, INVITING WORLDS VOL 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with the rhythmic dexterity and textural nuance of today’s orchestras paired with a new roster of composers. New sounds and expressions burst with emotion and uplift us through dark days, navigating uncertainty and delivering us to tranquil resolution. From the frenetic energy and hair raising harmony of Chasse Noir to the soothing solemnity of When Quiet Comes, INVITING WORLDS VOL 2 delivers a colorful palette of orchestral virtuosity sure to please any listener who lends an ear.