Sander is currently a Professor of Composition at Northern Kentucky University. He received a D.M in Music Composition from Northwestern University where he studied with Alan Stout and Andrew Imbrie. The 2019 CD release of Sander's 90-minute choral work The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom on the Reference Recordings label was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. The recording featured the PaTRAM Institute Singers under the direction of Peter Jermihov.
Kurt Sander's compositions have been performed in 14 countries on five different continents. Much of his choral and instrumental work takes its inspiration from the sublime dimensions of the Eastern Orthodox faith and its rich artistic traditions.
His sacred choral work has been recorded and performed by professional ensembles throughout the world including Cappella Romana, the Kastalsky Choir (RUS), the Cincinnati Camerata, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa (CAN), the St. Romanos Cappella, the Clarion Choir, Archangel Voices, the Patriarch Tikhon Choir, and The Orthodox Singers (RUS) and the PaTRAM Institute Singers.
In 2017, he received a commission by the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute (PaTRAM) for a new English-language setting of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. This 90-minute work was recorded by the PaTRAM Institute Singers under the direction of Peter Jermihov and released as a 2 CD set on Reference Recordings label in 2019. The CD of this work was nominated for a Grammy in 2020 under the "Best Choral Album" category.
Sander was one of five featured composers on the collaborative composition "Heaven and Earth" which was commissioned by the St. John of Damascus Society and will be recorded in 2021 by the renowned choral ensemble Cappella Romana under the direction of conductor Michael Boyer. The CD is scheduled for international release in 2022 on the Cappella Recordings label.
Sander has also acquired notoriety for his chamber and orchestral writing. He was recently named a finalist in the American Prize for his song cycle "Ella's Song" about the life of St. Elizabeth, Grand Duchess of Russia. Other instrumental works have been performed by the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the Brasov Philharmonic (Romania), the Pleven Philharmonic (Bulgaria), the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Synchronia, the Corbett Trio, the Solaris Wind Quintet, and the St. Petersburg Quartet.
Sander currently serves as Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition at Northern Kentucky University. He holds degrees in composition from Northwestern University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Cleveland State University where he studied with Bain Murray, Alan Stout, Rudolph Bubalo, and Andrew Imbrie.
Sander's choral music is published through Musica Russica.