photo: David A. Seaver

Kim Diehnelt (b. 1963) is compelled to create beauty through her work as a conductor, composer, and artistic coach.

Trained in the United States and Europe, Kim Diehnelt established her musical crafts in Finland and Switzerland, leading Baltic, Russian, and European ensembles. She currently resides in Burlington VT.

Diehnelt has been composing works for solo instruments, chamber, orchestral and choral ensembles since 2011 when, after decades on the conductor’s podium, she “suddenly had something to say.” 

Caprio for oboe and string orchestra launched her into the composer arena, as the vibrant work found immediate performances with the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (2011), the Women’s Community Orchestra in Oakland CA (2016) and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra (2017). The popular oboe quartet version of Caprio has been performed by Chicago’s Metropolis Oboe Quartet and New York-based Face the Music.

Her style is best described as a “Nordic Palestrina” as her works possess a lyrical, vocal quality with an attention to beauty and the sense of an unfolding story. 

“For me, music is a poetic reading of time, where I work within time to create the opportunity for expressiveness, beauty, and poetic engagement, both within and between individuals.”  

Commissions and requests to create new music span a broad range of styles and ensembles, from symphonic to choral, mixed chamber ensemble, and even handbell choir. Commissioned works include: Wintram (2015) for solo cello, Striadica: A Symphonic Passage (2017) for the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, Mourret (2018) for clarinet and string Trio, Timeless Grace (2018) for 2-Octave Handbell Choir, and Milvanne (2021) for oboe, French horn, and string trio.

Reviews of the premiere in May 2016 of Wintram for unaccompanied cello, a piece commissioned to pair with the Bach cello suites, called the work a “smashing success for cellist and composer alike.”  Her debut album of chamber music for mixed ensembles “Caprio” was released on an independent label in 2019.
Diehnelt was a semifinalist for The American Prize in Composition in the Professional Orchestra division in 2015 for her work Montegar for viola and strings. She was named the KISMET Foundation’s 2018 Artist-in-Residence.


Dashing Vol. 4

Release Date: November 10, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6569
21st Century
Folk Music
Light the fireplace, don your coziest sweater, and let the festive sounds of DASHING VOL. 4 from Navona Records whisk you away on a joyful journey through holiday music both new and familiar. Featuring a fresh line-up of contemporary composers, this edition of the series fuses the magic and warmth of holiday tones with the modern flair of today’s classical music, making for a neatly-packaged gift that's sure to spark the spirit of the season. From new choral and orchestral expressions to cherished melodies and bluesy interpretations of classic tunes, DASHING VOL. 4 spares no expense in merriment and good cheer.

Legends and Light Vol. 2

Release Date: January 14, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6399
21st Century
LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 2 from Navona Records leaves no stone unturned. From the vast expansiveness of the open sea to the microscopic particles of our world's chemical makeup, this follow-up to 2018’s LEGENDS AND LIGHT is an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Brno Philharmonic. In this album, seven composers offer their insights into the components of our world through music, with works highlighting cultures, locations, forces of nature, and human life. While many of the pieces are arranged for orchestral ensembles, listeners will also find Scottish Great Highland bagpipes and Irish Uilleann pipes featured on the album, offering a deeply rewarding listening experience.

Moto Finale

Release Date: December 10, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6388
21st Century
Piano Trio
MOTO FINALE brings the beloved chamber music series to a close with a number of works inspired by nature, loss, spiritual connection, and music of the past. The seasoned Trio Casals returns for this seventh and final installment to perform the works of seven composers in a diverse and conclusive capstone of modern composition. A fitting album to end the series, MOTO FINALE rewards the attention of listeners as it leads them on a journey of interweaving experiences. Trauma and chaos mingle with tranquility, nostalgia, melancholy, and hope, painting a broad emotional landscape.