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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Friday, August 04, 2006
A scandal rocks the East Village

On July 28, a ruthless demolition crew broke all the stain glass windows of the Church of St Brigid at Avenue B and 9th Street, just across from Tompkins Square Park. Those particular stain glass windows were crafted in Bavaria in the 1880s. The neo-Gothic Catholic church was designed by architect Patrick Keely and built in 1848 by Irish immigrants. Last Saturday, Channel 7 news aired a segment showing a crowd of protestors in front of the church trying to stop the demolition. The New York Times published an informative article on the subject on Friday, July 28, Metro section, page B2, by Michael Luo.

The protestors include not only Catholic parishioners who are witnessing the disappearance of their local churches, one by one, lost to real estate development (Mary Help of Christians on 12th St and the Church of the Nativity on Second Avenue & Third Street are now closed); but also many East Village artists who oppose the destruction of a landmark work of architecture and what once was a classical music venue, and beyond that, an example of the unjust gentrification process that makes a neighborhood unaffordable to the very same artists who pioneered it and increased its value.

But it gets even worse: while the Catholic authorities claim that the church is ‘unsafe’, the parishioners have already donated $103,000.00 towards the necessary repairs, and the state program Sacred Sites Fund for Historic Preservation is available to cover 50% of the repair costs. Instead, the archdiocese is banking on the construction of a rental facility in place of the church, and has made no attempt to acknowledge the parishioners’ investment in the church. Furthermore, the supporters of the church have to raise more funds for a difficult legal battle. The demolition is now being temporarily held by order of Justice Kapnick. The freedom to practice one’s religion was once a pillar of the American democracy – but it no longer holds against the insatiable greed of those who hold the keys to the kingdom.