"Lush, rapturous" – San Francisco Chronicle

Carolyn Yarnell's music ranges from serene to turbulent. Her craftsmanship and attention to detail is evident in every beautifully turned out score she produces. Her sources of inspiration are nature and the spectrum of human experience.

Yarnell's works have been performed by the Albany, Indianapolis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras; the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra; New Millennium Ensemble, American Baroque, and the Afiara Quartet; and solo artists Stephen Schultz, Kathleen Supove, Tomoko Yazawa, and Oni Buchanan. Her music can be heard on recordings on the Albany, Koch, CRI and Tzadik labels.

Yarnell's first orchestra piece – fittingly titled "First Music" and composed when she was 22 years of age – was premiered by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra. It is an aural retelling of her birth from the moment of conception, graphically expressed in the visual layout of the score itself.

Yarnell chose Iceland rather than a Continental destination for her one-year Fulbright study abroad - in order to draw inspiration from the stark beauty of that place’s natural environment. The result was "Living Mountains" for orchestra.

Her years living in New York City drew out the composer’s edgier side, realized in electro-acoustic works such as "Love God" and "Catalina-iMagic".

During her yearlong Rome Prize residency, Yarnell was privileged to work in the very same atelier inhabited by the great Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei – the very same place in which he first used his telescope to discover planets. The resulting composition for piano and electronics is appropriately entitled "The Same Sky".

Yarnell’s "Yosemite and the Range of Light", her largest-scale work to date, is an orchestral work comprising 23+ individual movements. The composer states: “I grew up in Yosemite, and have an intimate bond with the place: its history, nature and wildlife. I began this ambitious project in 2007 with "The Gold Country”, premiered by the Grammy Award-winning Albany Symphony. The two newest movements of the set are "Grizzly" and "Wawona", premiered in 2013 by the Taiwan Normal University Symphony Orchestra. These two movements reflect opposite extremes of emotion – and in so doing, serve as an apt reflection of Yarnell’s own distinctive personality as a composer of the 21st century.