Elizabeth Kowalski

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, Vocalist and Founder/Artistic Director of the Charlotte New Music Festival


Master of Music, Composition, UNC Greensboro (2011)
Bachelor of Music, UNC Charlotte (2009)

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

After completing her Master's degree in composition at UNC Greensboro, Elizabeth returned to Charlotte, where she teaches piano, flute, and composition and theory in her own private studio, as well as music classes at Central Piedmont Community College. In 2012, her work Moon Garden (for guitar and clarinet) received third prize in the National MTNA Composition Competition. Another piece composed for cello, electronics, and dance, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, won a national award and was performed at the Kennedy Center in May of 2012.

Elizabeth founded the Charlotte New Music Festival and Composers Workshop in 2012. Through this summertime festival and composers' and choreographers' workshops, she is building an appreciation for new music in her hometown and providing excellent learning and performance opportunities for emerging composers.

"On a daily basis, I use what I learned at UNC Charlotte -- composition and arranging, conducting, knowledge of how to write for other instruments that I don't play, music theory, music history, choral singing," she says. "I treasure the memories of playing as a solo pianist with the wind ensemble at UNC Charlotte and travelling to Italy with the UNC Charlotte Chorale to sing in the Vatican and many other Italian cities. Other meaningful experiences were taking piano lessons, composition lessons, performing in the flute choir."

Elizabeth was named the 2018 Distinguished Alumna in the Department of Music.