Composer Karen Siegel draws on her experience as a vocalist in her creation of innovative choral and vocal works. Hailed as “complex and wonderful,” (TheatreScene.net) and “colorful and at times groovy” (WQXR.org), her works are frequently performed by the New York City-based ensemble C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, which she co-founded in 2005 and for which she continues to serve as one of the conductors. C4 recently premiered Siegel's work for remote choir “Here I Am,” a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the first livestream remote choral concert of the social distancing age. Her one-act opera, The Hat: Arendt Meets Heidegger, with a libretto by Zsuzsanna Ardó, was premiered by the Thompson Street Opera Company in 2019.
Three of Siegel's choral works are on commercial recordings—“Saguaro” is featured on C4’s 2013 album Volume 1: Uncaged; “Why Do We Love Our Guns” is featured on Tonality’s 2019 album Sing About It; and “To Be Free” is featured on the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne’s 2020 album Walking On Waves. She has received awards from the Yale Glee Club, the Esoterics, the New York Virtuoso Singers, Khorikos, the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, Boston Metro Opera, the CUNY Graduate Center, and NYU.
Siegel's works are published by See-A-Dot Music Publishing (SeeADot.com), self-published through Chestnutoak Press (KarenSiegel.com), and distributed in the Justice Choir Songbook (justicechoir.org). She holds a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center and degrees from Yale and NYU Steinhardt; and she has been on the faculty at Drew University and the City College of New York. Siegel lives in Hoboken, New Jersey with her husband and two sons.