Valerie Coleman is the founder, flutist and resident composer of the Grammy nominated Imani Winds. Through her music and vision, she has created a legacy of innovation that breaks down cultural and social barriers in classical music.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Coleman began her music studies at the late age of eleven. By the age of fourteen, she had already written three full-length symphonies and had won a number of local and state flute competitions. Today, her works and performances are heard regularly on Classical radio stations throughout the country: Sirius XM, NPR’s Performance Today, All Things Considered, and The Ed Gordon Show; WNYC’s Soundcheck, MPR’s Saint Paul Sunday, and globally through Radio France. Recently, Coleman took on a new challenge of being the Artistic Director of her own creation, The Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, a highly successful summer training series and institute in New York City that serves as an advocate for aspiring musicians and young composers.
She is best known for Imani Winds’ signature piece Umoja, which was listed as one of the “Top 101 Great American Works” by Chamber Music America. Many of her contributions to wind literature are considered standard modern repertoire and are performed by ensembles globally. Commissions and/or highlight performances of her works include a Carnegie Hall debut in 2001, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra 2001, New Haven Symphony, Composer’s Concordance Festival Orchestra, Music of NOW at Symphony Space Thalia, Wigmore Hall in London, The Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, among many others. Awards include the Aspen Music Festival Wombwell Kentucky Award, Michelle E. Sahm Memorial Award at the Tanglewood Music Festival (inaugural recipient), The Sally Van Lier Memorial Award, and the Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAPFUND). As both composer and flutist, she has been featured as a guest artist at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, Chenango Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and Alice Tully Hall among several others.
Currently, she serves on the New Music Advisory Committee of National Flute Association, the Classical Connections Committee of Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), serves as an Artistic Advisor for the Hartt School at the University of Connecticut, and is on the boards of the COR Music Project, and Composer’s Concordance. She is published by Theodore Presser International Opus, and maintains her own publishing company, V Coleman Music. Valerie currently resides in New York City with her husband Jonathan Page and baby daughter Lisa.