Kari Cruver Medina is a Seattle-based composer and pianist whose work spans a broad palate of stylistic traditions. Her music has been featured across the United States and abroad, with choral, instrumental, and orchestral works premiered recently in both Europe and Asia.
Medina was just in England, where her prize-winning TTBB composition, "Winter Has Come," was premiered at the 2019 Cornwall International Male Choir Festival. "Stand in the Light," a 2-voice round advocating for social justice, was just published as one of the international winners of the 50th Anniversary Hong Kong Children’s Choir Choral Composition Contest. In December, Medina joins a group of composers whose music has been selected from around the world for premiere by the Ensemble de la Belle Music. Her orchestral piece, "Christmas Mischief with the Nisse," (a playful tribute to her family’s Norwegian heritage) will be performed December 1st, in Singapore. "Web and Wings," composed for solo piano, was just selected as the winner of the 2020-21 Renee B. Fisher Composer Awards and will be the featured contemporary composition for the Renee B. Fisher Competition for Young Pianists in New Haven, in 2021.
Over the course to the past couple of years, Medina’s focus has been on writing choral music that advances socially conscious themes. This effort has included the introduction of a number of new works including: "Fragile Spinning Earth," (Twin Cities Women’s Choir, Minneapolis, MN 2017). "One Family," (Chorosynthesis, Seattle, WA 2018), and "We Can Change the World," (Collegium Ancorum, June, 2019, Providence, RI).
Additional instrumental performances include the chamber orchestra works "Connemara," (May, 2019) and "One Snowy Day…." (Dec, 2018) both selected for premiere in Singapore.2016 marked the unveiling of the first movement of a work for soprano and orchestra written in Old Icelandic, and based on the grand Viking epic, Edda. "Völuspá; Song of the Seeress," was commissioned by the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, (Seattle, WA) and featured Soprano Alexandra Piccard. A great fan of poetry, Medina also also introduced a series of multi-media Art Song Salons in 2016. "Sister’s From Across the Sea," featured the poetry and life stories of female poets Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti. Other awards include a semi-finalist status in the America Prize (2015), and recognition and performances at the International Alliance of Women in Music, "The Message of the Wind (2016)" (also performed at the Louisiana ACDA Conference in New Orleans by the UL Lafayette Chamber Singers) and the Voices of London Festival (2014).
During her tenure as Music Director at University Presbyterian Church, in Seattle, Washington, Medina composed weekly for a wide variety of ensembles, blending classical and popular vocal and instrumental traditions, and producing a large body of sacred music. In addition, her Emmy-nominated scores as a studio musician and composer have accompanied various PBS Television productions, including Rick Steve’s “Travels through Europe” and KCTS’s “Over” Series.
A Washington native, her graduate and undergraduate training were at University of Washington and Washington State University, where she studied with William Bergsma and Loran Olsen. She and her husband, John Medina, have two sons.