Pianist/Composer Anita Kruse is described as “a rare blend of visionary artist and powerfully inspired performer.” A classically trained pianist, Anita began writing her own music while completing a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance with Theodore Lettvin at the University of Michigan.
Inspired by the musical talents of her mother and grandmother, Anita has worked as a soloist and accompanist, performing in both popular and classical venues throughout the United States and internationally. She worked as Artist in Residence at Houston’s Poe Elementary School, where she directed children’s original musical productions. She also served as Composer in Residence for Worship Weavers, a group of Houston’s women clergy, and has presented concerts at Bard College in New York as the Anna Jones Fellowship visiting artist.
After arranging and producing her first two CDs, “All We Have is Now” and “Light”, Anita recorded five more CDs with arranger/producer Robbie Parrish:
“Creation Flight”, “Christmas Light”, “Lullabies from Home”, “If We Can Fly to the Moon” and “Dreaming Out to Sea”.
“Creation Flight” is a women’s musical storybook that guides the listener through the unfolding tales of life, love and friendship.
“Lullabies from Home” is a touching compilation of twelve original lullabies.
“If We Can Fly to the Moon” is a song and website dedicated to the victims of the September 11th tragedy. The CD was taken aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor by Astronaut John Herrinton on its November 2002 mission.
Anita’s original musical, “Give Me Your Story, I’m Listening to Love” was commissioned by Thomas Jaber, Director of Choirs at Rice University and Chapelwood Methodist Church, and first performed by Chapelwood’s 90-voice Wesley Youth Choir in August 2003.
After many years of friendship and collaboration, Anita and flutist Jennifer Keeney formed the duo Tall Girls, performing a wide range of musical styles from classical flute and piano repertoire to original songs. In 2005, mezzo soprano, Sonja Bruzauskas joined the team, to form Trio Angelico, performing concerts to enthusiastic acclaim in the United States and internationally.
Anita began writing music to accompany services at the Rothko Chapel for the Mary Magdalene Community in Houston.
A compilation CD, “The Magdalene Mystique, Songs from Within” was released in 2006 to accompany Reverend Betty Adam’s book, The Magdalene Mystique.
In March 2006, Anita became the founder and Executive Director of Purple Songs Can Fly, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a creative musical outlet for children at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. From an in-house recording studio designed by Anita, she continues to work with the children to write and record their own songs. To date, over 200 songs have been written, recorded and enjoyed around the globe. As the first recording studio ever created on a pediatric cancer floor, Purple Songs Can Fly has been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, including: The New York Times, The Associated Press, Family Circle, Reader's Digest, Grammy.com, Woman’s World, Cure magazine, the FOX Television Special “Kaleidoscope”, and NBC Nightly News, Making a Difference with Brian Williams.
In May 2010, Anita gave the commencement address at Maryville University in St. Louis and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Inspired by The Purple Songs Can Fly Project, Maryville's music therapy department created Kids Rock Cancer, which provides songwriting and recording opportunities to children being treated for cancer in three St. Louis children's hospitals.
In addition to her work with Purple Songs Can Fly, Anita serves as Composer in Residence, Pianist, and Director of the concert series, Divas Café: The Art of the Songwriter for Divas World Productions.