Composer/keyboardist/producer Elodie Lauten creates operas, music for dance and theatre, orchestral, chamber and instrumental music. Not a household name, she is however widely recognized by historians as a leading figure of post-minimalism and a force on the new music scene, with 20 releases on a number of labels.

Her opera Waking in New York, Portrait of Allen Ginsberg was presented by the New York City Opera (2004 VOX and Friends) in May 2004, after being released on 4Tay, following three well-received productions. OrfReo, a new opera for Baroque ensemble was premiered at Merkin Hall by the Queen's Chamber Band, whose New Music Alive CD (released on Capstone in 2004) includes Lauten's The Architect. The Orfreo CD was released in December 2004 on Studio 21. In September 2004 Lauten was composer-in-residence at Hope College, MI. Lauten's Symphony 2001, was premiered in February 2003 by the SEM Orchestra in New York. In 1999, Lauten's Deus ex Machina Cycle for voices and Baroque ensemble (4Tay) received strong critical acclaim in the US and Europe. Lauten's Variations On The Orange Cycle (Lovely Music, 1998) was included in Chamber Music America's list of 100 best works of the 20th century.

Born in Paris, France, she was classically trained as a pianist since age 7. She received a Master's in composition from New York University where she studied Western composition with Dinu Ghezzo and Indian classical music with Ahkmal Parwez. Daughter of jazz pianist/drummer Errol Parker, she is also a fluent improviser. She became an American citizen in 1984 and has lived in New York since the early seventies

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Monday, June 27, 2005
ASO goes retro

I just received the program for the American Symphony Orchestra’s 2005-2006 season (under Leon Botstein, music director). The program includes works composed in the 1930s by Roger Sessions, Randall Thompson, Ernest Bloch, Frank Bridge, Arthur Bliss, Ralph Vaughan Williams; a memorial program on Polish composer Witold Lutolawski; works written in the 50s and 60s by Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck (actually a US premiere), Frank Martin, Arthur Honegger; a complete Schumann program; and a Russian program including Rimsky Korsakov and one act opera by Dargomizhsky (US premiere), awkwardly marketed with a mention of Amadeus, apparently subscribing to the new Lincoln Center myth that Mozart ‘could have gone to Russia’ although he never did in real life (see this year's Mostly Mozart program). I wish they could have included a 1990s music program in the series but I guess that wouldn’t be retro enough.

On the positive side, I see a real effort to find material that is not run-of-the-mill. On the other hand, if a 50 year interval (as for the Schoeck piece composed in 1955) is what it takes to get a new orchestral piece premiered, I’d say, let’s keep on writing our orchestral music and write up a will… and choose your executor well!