Timothy Kramer’s music reflects his fascination with motivic patterns, cyclical relationships, and musical gestures that unfold in a variety of changing speeds and textures. From pieces such as Cycles and Myths and Mosaics to Vanishing Perspectives and All in Golden Measure, his works often take their impetus from visual cues. The interplay between background and foreground materials makes his music immediately approachable but with a rich structural layer. Critics have called his music “constantly inventive, clear, full of energy and admirably precise” (San Antonio Express News), “splendidly energetic and excellently crafted” (WASBE Conference Review), “lively, intelligent, and blustery” (Fanfare), and “haunting and intensely moving” (San Antonio Express News).
Originally from Washington State, Kramer began studying the piano at a young age, and, although later trained as an organist and harpsichordist, he spent many years as a youth playing bass guitar in jazz and rock ensembles. His music reflects this influence and he sometimes integrates different aspects of American popular music into his pieces. He has written for and been commissioned by a wide variety of ensembles, from professional orchestras and chamber groups to high school bands and college choirs. His works have been performed widely throughout the United States and Canada— from Carnegie Hall to college campuses— and in Europe, South America, and Asia with performances by symphony orchestras (Indianapolis, Detroit, Tacoma, San Antonio), chamber groups (North/South Consonance, SOLI Ensemble, ONIX Ensemble, Luna Nova, Detroit Chamber Winds, Ensemble Mise-en), and university ensembles (Michigan State, Arizona State, Indiana University, Florida State). He has also been a featured composer at the San Antonio International Piano Competition, the Midwest International Clinic, the Utah Arts Festival, and at national conferences of the American Guild of Organists, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, the American Choral Directors Association, the Society of Composers, Inc., and the College Music Society. In 2019 – 2020 he served as the Composer-not-in-Residence with the San Francisco Choral Artists.
Kramer has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Meet the Composer, Broadcast Music, Inc., ASCAP, the American Guild of Organists, and the American Music Center among many others. His degrees are from Pacific Lutheran University (B.M.) and the University of Michigan (M.M. and D.M.A.), where he studied with William Albright, Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, and George Wilson. He was also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, studying with Martin Redel. Beginning in 1991 he taught at Trinity University in San Antonio for 19 years, where he founded CASA (the Composers Alliance of San Antonio). In 2010 he accepted a post as Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Illinois College in Jacksonville IL, and was named the Edward Capps Professor of Humanities in 2013, and Professor Emeritus in 2020. His works are commercially published by Southern Music, Earnestly Music, Hinshaw, and Selah and are available on Calcante, North/South, Capstone, and Navona.