Murphy Severtson (b. 1999, previously Anna Severtson) is a composer, improvisor, and teacher from Delray Beach, Florida, currently based in New York City. Their compositions examine deeply personal topics, including chronic illness, the climate crisis, queerness, and religion. They find the greatest amount of joy in making music that allows the audience, performers, and all those involved to be equal and loved collaborators.
Murphy has written or arranged for the St. Olaf Band, the St. Olaf Orchestra, the Manitou Singers, the St. Olaf Lyric Theater, Synergy Musicians Collective, Spiritus Novus, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Walden School Players, and ArxDuo. They have attended festivals and camps at the University of Miami, the Walden School, and the Curtis Institute.
In the summer of 2021, Murphy composed Standing Upright, a testament to the strength of those struggling with chronic illness, for the American Prize-winning St. Olaf Band, funded by the St. Olaf CURI Project. Recently, their music has explored Florida nature, specifically mangrove trees and forests.
Murphy is a founding member of Mosaic Composers Collective, a group of fresh collaborators and composers working in New York City. They also co-host the podcast Classical Schmassical, with fellow Mosaic Composer Alexa Letourneau. Interested in the administrative sphere of new music, they work as an assistant and stage manager in many different projects as well, including with composers Paul Pinto, Daniel Felsenfeld, and Calvin Hitchcock.
They graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors in Music from St. Olaf College in 2022. Murphy is currently studying with Valerie Coleman at Mannes School of Music at the New School.