Carrie Koffman

Dedicated to Promoting the Music of Living Women+ Composers

Carrie Koffman is Professor of Saxophone at The Hartt School of Music, Dance and Theater at the University of Hartford. She also held positions as Lecturer of Saxophone at the Yale School of Music, Lecturer of Saxophone at Boston University, Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Penn State University, and Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of New Mexico.

She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and on five continents. Conference and festival performances have included multiple World Saxophone Congresses; multiple SaxArt International Saxophone Festivals in Italy; many North American Saxophone Alliance National Conferences; a tour throughout New Zealand; the Xi'an International Clarinet and Saxophone Festival in China; the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan; the Virginia Arts Festival; the International Viola Congress; and the International Double Reed Convention in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Among Koffman’s featured performances are as soloist with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Centre Chamber Orchestra, the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the Hartt Wind Ensemble, the PSU Symphony Orchestra, the PSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the UNM Wind Symphony, and the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble while touring Europe. Her ensemble performing credits include appearances with Sequitur, Le Train Bleu and Chelsea Symphony in New York City, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Waterbury Symphony and Wallingford Symphony, Pine Mountain Music Festival Orchestra, and Virginia Arts Festival Orchestra.

She has toured Italy, Cyprus and the United States as tenor saxophonist in the Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet, and spent nearly two decades exploring the relationship between wind and string playing in a contemporary chamber music duo, The Irrelevants, with violist Tim Deighton. Their “excellent playing” of several new works in a New York recital was noted in The Strad. Additionally, she appears frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician.

Committed to new music, commissions and premieres feature 68 compositions including works by Tanya Anisimova, Lera Auerbach, Susan Botti, Chen Yi, Michael Colgrass, Halim El-Dabh, John Duffy, Erberk Eryilmaz, Mark Kuss, Stephen Michael Gryc, Juliana Hall, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Gilda Lyons, David Macbride, Michael Mauldin, Tamar Muskal, Tawnie Olson, Hilary Tann, Joseph Turrin, Gunther Schuller, Christopher Schultis, James Sellars, Ken Steen, Augusta Read Thomas, William Wood and Zhou Long.

Recording projects comprise twelve commercially available CD’s including Carillon Sky, Dialogues and Dragon Rhyme. One review in Fanfare Magazine calls her playing “suave, subtly nuanced, and technically secure in its every gesture,” while another refers to her “melting tone and touching sensitivity.” Music Web International describes her as “brilliant and dauntless.” She also has an ongoing recording and performing series with the tongue-in-cheek title "Pink Ink" that is dedicated to promoting the music of living women composers. She was a founding member of the the Committee on Gender Equity of the North American Saxophone Alliance and served as the project manager for CGE’s Community Engagement Initiative.

In addition to traditional performance spaces, Koffman is interested in bringing live music to unexpected places. She hiked the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain, sharing impromptu performances in 33 different cathedrals and churches along the historic medieval route. In this way, she was able to reach people from all over the world in contemplative spaces while they made their own pilgrimages. She is also interested in creating site specific performances, such as a recent commission by composer Juliana Hall to be performed with a walking audience along the Wallace Stevens Walk in Hartford. And she has created a philosophical performance art project entitled "Carries Weight", which combines highpointing with a saxophone and interviewing others to collect stories creating contemplative experiences around the ideas of power, influence, and respect.

Koffman's saxophone students have placed in over 130 different performance competitions including winning 25 university concerto competitions at all five of the universities where she has taught. The careers of her alumni are varied, ranging from university professors, premiere military band musicians, performers (including one who has been on five Grammy nominated albums), acoustical engineers, elementary, middle and high school music educators, a Big Ten marching band director, freelance musicians, musical theater pit orchestra performers both on and off Broadway, recording engineers, professional orchestra administrators, private studio teachers, composers, community ensemble conductors, music librarians, a full time Disneyland musician, and a full time member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

She is a founding faculty member of the American Saxophone Academy, an annual educational program designed for advanced college students and beyond. She also formerly taught saxophone for the All-State Program at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and was the Director of Bands at Belleville South Middle School in Belleville, Michigan. Koffman holds a bachelors degree with high honors from the University of Michigan and a masters degree from the University of North Texas. Her primary mentor is Donald Sinta.

Koffman is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and teaches Yoga for Performers. She is also a Conn-Selmer artist/clinician, and Vandoren performing artist.

To learn more about Carrie Koffman, visit

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