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Katie Kresek

Lecturer of Music, Academics

The first American woman to win a Tony Award for Best Orchestrations, Katie Kresek’s dynamic career as performer, creator, and educator is defined by versatility and multi-genre musical artistry. She is currently the concertmaster and co-orchestrator of Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway, for which she has received both the 2021 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations and a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Honor for Outstanding Orchestrations.

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Drawing on a peripatetic upbringing steeped in classical, folk, musical theatre, pop, and tango, her arrangements blend her vast experience as a performer with an imaginative synthesis of compositional styles. Her collaborations explore a wide vocabulary of idiomatic techniques, instrumental timbres and textures. In addition to Moulin Rouge! The Musical, recent arranging projects include Jonathan Coulton’s album Some Guys, Phillip Phillips Behind The Light, and Lana Del Rey’s Body Electricon the Born to Die: Paradise LP which was nominated for a Grammy Award. She has also written arrangements for Trey Anastasio, Rosanne Cash, Jesca Hoop, Misterwives, Richard Marx, Five for Fighting, and many others.

As a recording artist, she has performed on albums with artists including Norah Jones, James Taylor, Paul Simon, and most recently with Sarah Jarosz on her album World on the Ground, which won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. During the Broadway shutdown, she joined Trey Anastasio at his eight-week virtual residency, Beacon Jams, as part of the Rescue Squad Strings. Recent tours include Adele 25 Live in both Europe and North America, Five For Fighting Live with String Quartet, Elbow’s 2020 American Tour, Father John Misty’s 2018 Pure Comedy Tour, Rod Stewart at Madison Square Garden, and in Europe, US, Japan, and Latin America as the lead violinist and strings arranger for Lana Del Rey. She served as the concertmaster of David Byrne’s Contemporary Color project, performing with St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, and Lucius in shows in Toronto and New York. She has also performed with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rufus Wainwright, Rosanne Cash, Diana Krall, Billy Porter, Pharrell Williams, Phillip Phillips, A Great Big World, Bastille, Jesca Hoop, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, O.A.R., Shakira, KD Lang, Chris Martin, John Mayer, Jewel, Lenny Kravitz, Joanna Newsom, Enya, Ayo, Maya Isacowitz, Misterwives, Frank Ocean, MNDR, She & Him, Amber Rubarth, Kishi Bashi, The Hot Sardines, Breaking Benjamin, Zayn Malik, and many others.

Her work in television includes performances on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with James Corden, The Late Show with Steven Colbert, American Idol, Bluegrass Underground, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Today Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, CBS The Early Show, The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting, and the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. Her Broadway experience includes performances in the original New York production and Angelica Tour of Hamilton, The Cher Show, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, American Idiot, The Lion King, Chaplin, Follies, Cinderella, The Phantom of the Opera, Gigi, Honeymoon in Vegas, Matilda, Pippin, On The Town, A Minister’s Wife, Giant, and Frozen.

Katie holds a B.F.A. in music performance, a B.A. in literature, and a certificate in arts management from Purchase College, an M.M. in music performance from The Mannes College of Music, and a Masters and Doctorate in music and music education from Columbia University. Additional studies in theory and arranging at Berklee College of Music and film scoring at The Juilliard School. Widely known in the arts in education community for her energetic and responsive teaching, coaching, and concert hosting work, she has served as teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education, The New York Philharmonic, and many other cultural organizations. She currently maintains a private studio and teaches at Columbia University Teachers College and is a Lecturer at Purchase College Conservatory of Music. More information at