Aiden Kim Feltkamp (they/he) began their musical life at the age of 5 playing a quarter-size cello and now they champion new classical music and opera as a transgender nonbinary librettist, performer, and educator. They’re currently the Emerging Composers and Diversity Director with American Composers Orchestra.
Mx. Feltkamp is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and that mission pervades every aspect of their career. They write to explore the crevices and the intersections: the shadowy stories previously unexcavated due to the oppression of their narrators. In life and in fiction, they're drawn to main characters who live on the margins and open our capacity for empathy by telling stories through a yet-unencountered lens. Feltkamp’s work spans from live performance reviews and interviews with classical music industry leaders to supplemental program material and editorials to poetry and libretti.
In 2015, Feltkamp founded OperaRox Productions, a non-profit dedicated to elevating underrepresented artists and fostering the next generation of opera through socially relevant productions. In their time as Artistic Director, they commissioned new works, produced the historic Stonewall Inn’s first presentation of an LGBTQ opera, and garnered a NowThis video feature that received over 500k views.
Before beginning their medical transition, they performed professionally as a mezzo-soprano, specializing in Baroque opera and new music. They most loved studying Baroque gesture with Drew Minter and expanding the American repertoire through collaboration with living composers. Now they train as an operatic bass-baritone.
As an educator, they frequently consult for performing arts groups, arts funders, universities, and businesses on matters of inclusion. They also speak on panels about gender and inclusion in classical music. Most recently, they've worked with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the League of American Orchestras, and the LA Phil.
They received their M.M. from the Bard College Conservatory of Music in Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program and their B.S. in Vocal Performance from Hofstra University. They have had the honor of working with Leon Botstein, Charles Jarden, Peter Sellars, Isabel Milenski, Edda Moser, and the late Nico Castel. More than anything, Feltkamp hopes for a more equitable, more vibrant, and more compassionate future.
They currently live in New York City with their partner, two parrots, and cat. You can usually find them drinking coffee, at the library, or trying a new craft beer at their local pub. In their spare time, they read too much sci-fi and take a lot of naps.