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Michael Kaulkin (b. 1967) is active as a teacher and composer in the San Francisco Bay Area. His choral, orchestral and chamber music has been performed around the world. Recent popular choral works include The Noble Art of Music (2017), a 2-minute choral fanfare, and Tumbalalayka (2015), an arrangement of the popular Yiddish folksong. He is the 2020-21 winner of the Organization of American Kodály Educators’ (OAKE) Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize. The resulting commissioned piece REDBIRDS was premiered by the Honor Children’s Choir at OAKE’s national conference in March, 2022.

A native of Washington, D.C., Kaulkin studied composition with Joseph Castaldo at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, followed by 3 years’ post-graduate study at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, under the tutelage of composer János Vajda and choral conductor István Párkai. He earned his Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied composition with Conrad Susa.

On the Musicianship and Composition faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory’s Pre-College Division since 2008, Kaulkin has also served on the faculties of Berkeley’s Crowden School, at Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA) and the Academy of Art University. An avid adopter and adapter of the Kodály Method in teaching Musicianship, he has served on the faculties of summer Kodály programs at Holy Names University and Portland State University.

Kaulkin is also the founder of Swirly Music – a web platform enabling self-publishing composers to make their work available in print, and he is currently serving as General Manager for the acclaimed chamber choir San Francisco Choral Artists.


TumbalalaykaVoicing: SATB  Accompaniment: Unaccompanied  Performance Length: 2:30  Notation: Standard  Text Source: Traditional  Language: Yiddish  Descriptive Terms: Folksong, Fun, Instrument, Jewish, Riddle  First Performance: Mar 12, 2016: San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Palo Alto, CA Text Setting Composer’s Notes Source for Scores (P:E 133/631~2017-Q2)
The Noble Art of MusicVoicing: SATB  Accompaniment: Unaccompanied  Performance Length: 1:55  Notation: Standard  Text Source: Martin Luther  Language: English  Descriptive Terms: Fanfare, Music, Singing, Uplifting  First Performance: Dec 09, 2017: San Francisco Choral Artists, Magen Solomon, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Palo Alto, California Text Setting Composer’s Notes Source for Scores (P:E 133/807~2018-Q2)
RedbirdsVoicing: SA, TB, OR 2 MIXED GROUPS  Accompaniment: Piano  Performance Length: 4:45  Notation: Standard  Text Source: Sara Teasdale  Language: English  Descriptive Terms: Nostalgia, Memories, Birds, Rivers  First Performance: March 05, 2022 : OAKE National Children’s Choir, Ruth Dwyer, Pittsburgh, PA Text Setting Composer’s Notes Source for Scores (P:E 133/1615~2022-Q1)
Cycle of FriendsVoicing: SSAATTBB  Solo(s): Soprano  Accompaniment: Flute, Oboe, Harp, Percussion, Trumpet In C, Clarinet In B-flat, Horn In F, Strings, Bassoon  Performance Length: 25:00  Notation: Standard  Text Source: Sappho, Meng Hao Jan, Emily Dickinson, Li Po, Traditional Aztec  Language: English  Descriptive Terms: Friendship, Global, Poetry  First Performance: May 03, 1996: The Music Group of Philadelphia, Sean Deibler, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Text Setting Composer’s Notes Source for Scores (P:E 133/134)
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