Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Valerie Coleman began music studies at 11 and made a hobby of composing. By 14, she had already written three full-length symphonies and had won local and state flute competitions. Coleman is the founder of Grammy-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds, an ensemble widely recognized for their significant contributions to the chamber music repertoire.
Coleman’s chamber works have taken their place in standard wind repertoire and received honors such as her UMOJA being listed as one of the “Top 100 American Chamber Works” by Chamber Music America. Her music has been heard on internationally syndicated radio shows including NPR’s Performance Today and All Things Considered, Minnesota Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday, RadioFrance, and Sirius XM satellite radio. She has been featured composer for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a composer fellow for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and composer teaching artist for Young Audiences of New York. Commissions have come from the Hartford Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Symphony, Flute and Clarinet Duo Consortium, the CBDNA, the historic Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in NYC, the National Flute Association Collegiate Flute Choir, and Blackledge Music, Inc.
Coleman holds degrees from Boston University and Mannes College of Music.
As a flutist, Coleman has given masterclasses at conservatories, festivals, and schools throughout North America. She studied flute with Julius Baker, Alan Weiss, Judith Mendenhall, and Mark Sparks; composition with Martin Amlin and Randall Woolf; and has served on the faculty of The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, Interschool Orchestras of New York, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Teaching Artist Program.