• MA, music theory, Eastman School of Music
  • PhD, music theory, Eastman School of Music
  • Performers Certificate, flute performance, Eastman School of Music.

Cynthia Folio was honored with the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1996 and the Creative Achievement Award in 2012. She teaches theory and composition courses at all levels: from Theory I to a Doctoral Seminar in Analysis and Performance and advises many monographs for the DMA degree in performance. Before coming to Temple, she taught theory and flute at Texas Christian University (1980-1990) and played piccolo and flute in the Fort Worth Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras.

Born on Dec. 24, 1954 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Folio was an "army brat" and did not stay in one place for very long. Her many travels include three years in Germany, three years in Panama, and many spots in between. Her most rigorous musical training as a child was in Panama (1964–7), where she studied flute with Eduardo Charpentier (first flutist in the Panama Symphony at the time) and solfege at the Panama Conservatory.

She studied theory and composition with Joseph Schwantner, Robert Morris, and Larry Nelson and flute with Bonita Boyd and Emily Swartley Newbold. Her undergraduate school, West Chester University, granted her a Distinguished Alumni Award (1989). Other awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, composer residency at the Yaddo Artist Colony and at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, nineteen consecutive ASCAP Standard Awards, winner in the 1994 and 1999 New Music Delaware Competitions, two winning entries in the National Flute Association Newly Published Music Competition (in 1994 and 2012), and grants from Meet the Composer and the American Music Center. She has received commissions from the Mendelssohn Club, Relâche, Network for New Music, Hildegard Chamber Players, Astral Artistic Servieces, Anna Crusis Women's Choir, Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, SAI, and others. She has served as guest composer at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Festival of Women Composers, West Chester University Composer Symposium, the Kerry Walker/Julius Baker Masterclass, and the University of New Mexico Composer Symposium.

As a theorist, Folio has published music theory articles, reviews, and chapters in books, on topics that focus primarily on the analysis of jazz, the analysis of contemporary music, and the relationship between analysis and performance. She served for three years on the editorial board of Music Theory Spectrum and still serves on the board of ex tempore. She was vice-president of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic (MTSMA) for two years and the Treasurer of the Society for Music Theory for four years. She chaired the program committee for MTSMA for the 2011 conference. She was one of the leaders in the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory Summer Institute in 2008 on the topic, “Jazz Meets Pop” and attended the Decennial Anniversary Celebration of the Mannes Institute in 2011 on the topic, “A Decade of Thinking Together.”

As a flutist, she performs regularly as a soloist and in several groups in the Philadelphia area, including Latin FiestaDavid's Harp, the Silver and Wood Trio, the Philadelphia Classical Symphonyand the Temple contemporary music ensemble, Glaux (with Jeffrey Solow, Charles Abramovic, and others). In 1999, she was invited to Tübingen, Germany to perform in CAMP '99 (Creative Arts and Music Pool), an international festival for free improvisation.

Visit Cynthia Folio's website for updated calendar. 

    Works and Publications


    We The Poets (2012) for SSAA choir (commissioned and premiered by the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir)
    I. She Sang Hope
    II. Harmony
    III. Recipe for Poetry
    IV. We are the Dancers

    Philadelphia Portraits: A Spiritual Journey (2011) for piccolo and piano (commissioned and premiered by Lois Herbine); Finalist in the National Flute Association Newly-Published Music Competition
    I. Vincent Persichetti
    II. John Coltrane
    III. Marion Anderson
    IV. Benjamin Franklin
    V. Betsy Ross

    Sonata for Flute and Piano (2011) (commissioned and premiered by Julie Hobbs); Winner in the National Flute Association Newly-Published Music Competition, 2012
    I. Quodlibet
    II. Tema del Mar
    III. Joropo

    One variation in “Iconic Inversions” in 25 Variations by 25 Composers on a Theme by Diabelli (2010) (commissioned and premiered by Network for New Music—25 composers were invited to create one variation each for Network’s 25th Anniversary)

    Elegy (2010) for 2 flutes and piano (also arranged for flute choir)

    Voyage: I, Too, Can Sing a Dream (2009) (commissioned by The Mendelssohn Club, The Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir)

    Z3 (2008) (commissioned by the PA Music Teachers Association and premiered by Claudia Anderson and Jill Felber, flutes, and Charles Abramovic, piano)
    I. Zephyr
    II. Zenith
    III. Zawa!

    Revision and orchestration of A Matter of Honor: A Portrait of Alexander Hamilton (2007) for narrator and orchestra (supported by a summer research grant from Temple University)

    A Matter of Honor: A Portrait of Alexander Hamilton (2005) for narrator and chamber ensemble (commissioned by Astral Artistic Services, with a grant from the Presser Foundation)
    I. Publius
    II. An Odd Destiny
    III. Why, Soldiers, Why?
    IV. A Happy Immortality

    Music Box (2005) for SATB choir, doubling on music boxes, and piano (commissioned by Alan Harler for the Temple University Concert Choir); poetry by Susan Albertine

    When the Spirit Catches You… (2004) for flute, oboe, clarinet/alto sax, bassoon, viola, piano, percussion (commissioned, premiered, and recorded by the Relâche Ensemble)
    I. Aura
    II. Ictus
    III. Post-Ictus

    Two Songs on Poems by Stephen Dunn (2003) for soprano, flute, and viola (commissioned and premiered by Network for New Music); Honorable Mention for the Miriam Gideon Prize, 2011
    I. The House Was Quiet
    II. Circular

    Seven Aphorisms (2001) for Woodwind Quintet (commissioned by Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society; premiered and recorded by the Del’Arte Woodwind Quintet); also recorded by Sylvan Winds (forthcoming)
    I. Good Things, When Short, Are Twice As Good (Baltazar Gracian)
    II. All Rising to a Great Place is By a Winding Stair (Sir Francis Bacon)
    III. Hope is a Waking Dream (Aristotle)
    IV. A Man With a Watch Knows What Time It Is; A Man With Two Watches Is Never Sure (Mark Twain)
    V. Plain Clarity is Better Than Ornate Obscurity (Mark Twain)
    VI. You Can Straighten a Worm, But the Crook is in Him and Only Waiting (Mark Twain)
    VII. What Happens to the Hole When the Cheese is Gone? (Bertold Brecht)

    Flute Loops (2000) (commissioned by Laurie Benson and funded by Meet the Composer and the Brannen-Cooper Fund)

    Four ‘Scapes (1999) (commissioned and premiered by the Kirkwood Flute Ensemble with a grant from the Brannen Cooper Fund); Honorable Mention in the National Flute Association Newly-Published Music Competition
    I. Cityscape
    II. Seascape
    III. Landscape
    IV. Escape

    Through Window’s Lattices (1998) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion (commissioned and premiered by Network for New Music and the Hildegard Chamber Players, with funding from Anni Baker Wolman)

    At the Edge of Great Quiet (1998) for SSAA choir and piano (commissioned by SAI Philanthropies, Inc. and Temple University’s Delta Mu Chapter of SAI); Winner in the 1999 New Music Delaware Contest
    I. Roads (text by Mary Kancewick)
    II. There Were Suddenly Two Stones (text by Leah Aronow-Brown)
    III. On a Day of White Trees (text by Louise Gallop)
    IV. Out of Wind, Out of Sun (text by Louise Gallop)

    Living Legacy (1998) for band, organ, and optional heraldic trumpets (commissioned and premiered by Girard College to celebrate its 150th anniversary)

    Pentacle (1996) for full orchestra (commissioned and premiered by the Main Line Symphony Orchestra for its 50th Anniversary Season

    Arca Sacra (1997) for solo flute (commissioned by the National Flute Association for its High School Soloist Competition); recorded by Stephanie Rea (Centaur Records) and Nina Assimakopoulos (Vox Novus)

    Touch the Angel's Hand (1994) for choir, soprano solo, string orchestra & timpani (commissioned and premiered by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, conducted by Alan Harler); text by Fra Giovanni (c. 1523)

    Trio for flute cello and piano (1994) (premiered and recorded by the Temple University New Music Trio) Winner in the National Flute Association Newly-Published Music Competition, 1994
    I. Flowing
    II. Calm
    III. Rhythmic

    Desert Winds (1993) for concert band (commissioned by Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity and premiered by Temple University Collegiate Band)

    Contemporary Etudes (1991) for flute solo

    Three Songs (1990) for medium voice and piano

    Developing Hues (1989) for flute and bass clarinet; arrangement for flute and baritone sax (2011); recorded by Folio/Larry Thompson (Capstone) and Michele Kelly/Paul Demers
    I. Satin White
    II. Cerulean Blue
    III. Cadmium Red Light

    Sketches (1988) for flute and piano

    Sun Dagger (1989) for chamber orchestra (premiered by the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra)

    Timepieces (1988) for wind ensemble (premiered by the Texas Christian University Wind Ensemble); First Prize in the 1994 New Music Delaware Contest; recorded by the Temple University Wind Symphony, Art Chodoroff, director
    I. A Point in Time
    II. Summer Evening
    III. Early Spring
    IV. Times Remembered

    The Elements (1986) for flute choir (composed for the Texas Christian University flute choir)
    I. Earth
    II. Air
    III. Water
    IV. Fire

    Moonlight Serenata (1985) for clarinet solo

    One for Four (1985) for four flutes (composed for the Texas Christian University Flute Quartet)

    Flute Fantasy (1978) for flute

    Articles, Reviews, and Chapters in Books

    (2011) “Dexter Gordon’s Ultimate ‘Body and Soul’,” Aleck Brinkman co-author, in Five Perspectives on “Body and Soul”—Proceedings of the “International conference on music performance and analysis, ed. by Claudia Emmenegger and Olivier Senn.

    (2011) “Joseph Schwantner’s Looking Back: An Analysis in Relation to his Other Flute Works and his Chicago Experience,” The Flutist Quarterly, 36/3 (spring): 32–37.

    (2010) “Blackboard and Wikis and Blogs, Oh My: Collaborative Learning Tools for Enriching Music History and Music Theory Courses,” with primary author Steven Kreinberg, College Music Symposium, vol. 49¬–50: 164–175.

    (2009) “Looking Back: Joseph Schwantner’s Chicago Connection and a Look at His Recent Flute Works,” Pipeline, Vol. XIII, Issue 1 (Fall): 6–10.

    (2008) “Report on the 2008 Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory: Jazz Meets Pop” (co-authored with Henry Martin, Steve Larson, Lori Burns, John Covach, and Walter Everett), Music Theory Online 14/3

    (2007) “Rhythm and Timing in the Two Versions of Berio’s Sequenza I for Flute Solo: Psychological and Musical Differences in Performance,” with co-author Aleck Brinkman, chapter in Berio’s Sequenzas: Essays on Composition, Performance, Analysis and Aesthetics, ed. by Janet K. Halfyard, with an introduction by David Osmond Smith, Ashgate Academic Publishers.

    (2006) “Billie Holiday's Art of Paraphrase: A Study in Consistency” with co-author Robert Weisberg, chapter in New Musicology (part of a series called Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology), Poznan Poland: Poznan Press.

    (2004) “Toward a cognitive analysis of musical creativity: Improvisation in jazz.” International Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology, held in Graz, co-authored with Weisberg, Brinkman, and students from the Temple psychology department; published in Italian in Rivista di analisi e Teoria Musicale, X/2: 35–57.

    (1999) “An Analysis of Polyrhythm in Selected Improvised Jazz Solos,” chapter in Concert Music, Rock, and Jazz Since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies, ed. by Elizabeth West Marvin and Richard Hermann. University of Rochester Press.

    (1998) “’The Great Symphonic Theme”: Multiple Takes on Stella’s Theme,” in Annual Review of Jazz Studies (vol. 10); ed. by Henry Martin, with a response by Allen Forte.

    (1997) Review of The Music of George Gershwin by Steven Gilbert, Journal of Music Theory 41/2: 319–29.

    (1995–6) “Luciano Berio’s revision of Sequenza for Flute: A New Look and New Sound?” The Flutist Quarterly, vol. 21/2: 43–50.

    (1995) “An Analysis of Polyrhythm in Selected Improvised Jazz Solos,” chapter in Concert Music, Rock, and Jazz Since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies, ed. by Elizabeth West Marvin and Richard Hermann. University of Rochester Press.

    (1993) “Analysis and Performance: A Study in Contrasts,” Intégral 7: 1–37.

    (1992) Review of Ear Training for Twentieth Century Music by Michael Friedmann, Journal of Music Theory 36/2.

    (1991) Review of Musical Structure and Performance by Wallace Berry (co-authored with Steve Larson), Journal of Music Theory 35: 298–309. This review reflects my interest in the relationship between analysis and performance.

    (1991) “Analysis and Performance of the Flute Sonatas of J.S. Bach: A Sample Lesson Plan,” Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy 5/2: 133–60.

    (1991) Review of Musical Structure and Performance by Wallace Berry, with primary author, Steve Larson, Journal of Music Theory 35: 298–309.

    (1990) “A Lesson on Jazz Flute: Eddie Daniels’ Solo on ‘Emily’,” The Flutist Quarterly, vol. 15/4 (fall): 18–21.

    (1989) “Unity and Pluralism in Selected Works of Joseph Schwantner,” ex tempore V/1

    (1985) “The Synthesis of Traditional and Contemporary Elements in Joseph Schwantner’s Sparrows,” Perspectives of New Music 24/1: 184–96.



      Folio as Flutist and Composer

      Flute Loops: Chamber Music by Cynthia Folio
      Centaur Records (CRC 2777)

      Folio, flute; Steve Larson, piano; Ed Wise, bass; Harrell Bosarge, drums)
      Jazz CD (includes four original compositions)
      Centaur Records (download only)

      Society of Composers, Inc.—“Contra-Punctus”
      Includes my composition, Developing Hues (Folio, flute; Larry Thompson, bass clarinet)
      Capstone Records (CPS 8615)

      Folio as Composer 

      Press Play 
      The Relâche Ensemble
      Meyer Media, LLC (MM06004)
      Includes my composition, When the Spirit Catches You…
      To hear and see a multimedia performance go to: schachter_hoyerlectureinepilepsy120311

      Points of Entry: The Laurels Project
      Nina Assimakopoulos, flute
      Includes my composition, Arca Sacra
      Albany Records (CPS 8759)

      Solo French and American Works
      Stephanie Rea, flute
      Includes my composition, Arca Sacra
      Centaur Records (CRC 2759)

      American Kaleidoscope
      The Silverwind Duo (Nicole McPherson, flute; Andrew Seigel, bass Clarinet)
      Includes my composition, Developing Hues
      Emeritus Records (20102)

      Sylvan Winds
      Includes my composition, Seven Aphorisms for woodwind quintet

      Folio as flutist 

      David Bennett Thomas: Chamber Works
      Capstone Records (CPS-8754)

      Contemporary Chamber Music from Panama
      Music by Emiliano Pardo-Tristán
      Fermata Publication