Valerie Coleman

CREA (Composers for Racial Equality in the Arts) 2019 Mentor


Valerie Coleman is regarded by many as an iconic artist who continues to pave her own unique path, as a Grammy® nominated flutist, composer and entrepreneur. Regarded as “one of the Top 35 Women Composers” as listed in the Washington Post by critic Anne Midgette, she is also an alumna of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center CMS Two, laureate of Concert Artists Guild, the flutist and founder of the performer-composer trio Umama Womama. Perhaps most notably, she is the creator, founder, and former flutist of the acclaimed Imani Winds, an ensemble whose performances and original works have redefined wind chamber music with performances that span the globe. Imani Winds’ legacy is documented and featured in a dedicated exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Coleman’s multi-faceted career has led her to be featured with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI), New Haven Symphony, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Music at Angelfire, Banff, Spoleto USA, Bravo! Vail, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, to name a few. Her career as a recitalist and clinician has led her to be the featured guest flutist for the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, New Jersey Flute Fair, South Carolina Flute Society Festival, Colorado Flute Fair, Mid-South Flute Fair, and the National Women’s Music Festival, among many others. Looking forward, Valerie is scheduled to appear for a host of festival and collegiate multi-disciplinary residencies, including Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Virginia Tech, Oberlin College, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, University of North Dakota, Chamber Music Northwest, University of Michigan, and Centre College. She will be the featured headliner at the Long Island Flute Club, Raleigh Area Flute Association, Greater Portland Flute Society, Seattle Flute Society, University of Wisconsin-Madison Flute Day, Bethune-Cookman University Flute Day, and the Florida Flute Society Festival.

Coleman’s passion for chamber music performance is what guided her to become a top advocate, mentor and specialist of the field, with an extensive performance history of premieres and collaborations at festivals and chamber music societies across the United States, with esteemed artists such as Orion String Quartet, Harlem String Quartet, Quarteto Latinoamericano, Dover Quartet, Miami String Quartet, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Gil Kalish, Shai Wosner, Anne-Marie McDermott, Wu-Han, members of the LA Chamber Orchestra, and jazz legends Paquito D’Rivera, Stefon Harris, Jason Moran, René Marie, among many others. She has given countless flute and chamber music masterclasses at institutions in 49 states and over 5 continents, including The Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Yale University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Northern Colorado State University, University of Louisville, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, McGill University, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, University of Maryland, Interlochen Arts Academy, Beijing Conservatory, Brazil’s Campo do Jordão Festival, and Australia’s Musica Viva, to name a few. With Imani Winds, she was recently an artist-in-residence at Mannes College of Music, Banff Chamber Music Intensive, and Visiting Faculty at the University of Chicago.

Advocacy and mentorship of artists and emerging ensembles is important to Valerie, and she has immensely enjoyed their success over the years. In 2011, she created the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, a summer mentorship program in NYC that has welcomed musicians from over 100 institutions both nationally and abroad. She has also served on the as an adjudicator for National Flute Association’s High School Artist Competition, Concert Artist Guild, APAP’s Young Performing Concert Artists fellowship, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award, MapFund Award and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She is on the board of advisors for Composers Now, MacDowell Colony, and Sphinx LEAD, and has previously served on the APAP’s Classical Connections Committee, National Flute Association’s New Music Advisory Committee and Board Nomination Committee.

Valerie studied flute with Julius Baker, Judith Mendenhall, Doriot Dwyer, Leone Buyse and Alan Weiss; composition with Martin Amlin and Randy Wolfe. She is published by Theodore Presser, International Opus and has her own company, V Coleman Music.