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Katie Kresek ’98, ’99

—The first American woman to win a Tony Award for Best Orchestrations—

A performer, recording artist, creator, and educator, Katie Kresek BFA ’98, BA ’99 (music performance, literature) truly embodies the term versatile. She’s currently a Lecturer in the Conservatory of Music.

During her career, Kresek has played violin onstage worldwide with performers such as Adele and Rod Stewart, collaborated with the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and recorded with artists including Norah Jones and Paul Simon.

She received the 2020 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations and a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Orchestrations as concertmaster and co-orchestrator of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

She’s performed on albums with James Taylor and Five for Fighting, and contributed arrangements to Lana Del Rey’s album, Born to Die - Paradise Edition, which received a Grammy nomination.

Touring with Lana Del Rey internationally, Kresek was lead violinist and strings arranger. She served as the concertmaster of David Byrne’s Contemporary Color project.

She is a founding member of the XQuartet; a string ensemble dedicated to the art of singer-songwriter collaboration in the studio and on stage. Since its inception, the quartet has emerged as one of the leading ensembles of its kind.

And she’s collaborated with performers across the musical spectrum: Rufus Wainwright, Diana Krall, Alicia Keys, and Chris Martin, to name just a few. She’s performed on both late-night and morning TV talk shows, on soundtracks, and in several Broadway shows.

Read more about Kresek’s fascinating career and unique mix of music and literature while at Purchase in a recent PURCHASE magazine feature, Play Wide Open.

Awards / Residencies

2020 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Orchestrations

2021 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations