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
Sunday, June 03, 2007
NOTABLE WOMEN Festival Launch
Just yesterday, I spent a delightful afternoon at the Chelsea Art Museum attending the first installment of the new Orchestra of St Luke's eries, curated by Joan Tower, NOTABLE WOMEN (all caps…) The festival kicked off with a panel presentation including Joan Tower and three distinguished musicologists, authors of numerous publications on women’s music: Judith Tick, professor at Northeastern University; Ellie M. Hisama professor of music at Columbia University (and the first woman to hold such a position in about 50 years), and Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, who is writing a daring thesis on three operas by women in the 1950s. The panel took place in one of the museum’s galleries where the art by Miwa Yanagi, a series of interview portraits with what she calls her “grandmothers”, provided an unexpected enhancement to the meeting, as her representations of older women expressing life at its fullest made a statement against the widespread dismissal of women based on age and appearance.
The near-two-hour music program that followed included works by women composers whose names are familiar but whose music is not often heard: Rebecca Clarke, Amy Beach, Miriam Gideon, Ruth Crawford Seeger (remember the popular folk singer Pete Seeger, same family) and a world premiere for clarinet, violin, viola and cello by Asha Srinivasan, which was her first commission. The concert took place in another gallery where Jean Miotte's oversized abstract bursts of primary colors were a feast for the eyes. Another element that made this event special was the way each piece was carefully introduced.
The music rose in the gallery with exceptional brightness, fullness and resonance(reverberation of the parquet floors or talk microphone accidentally left on, I don't know) but noticeably, a refinement in the interpretation I have rarely heard in the performance of unfamiliar work; the Orchestra of St Luke’s attention to detail is such that they assign different players to different pieces so the performers have the chance to really ‘get into’ a particular piece, and this in-depth work came through. The presence of the young tenor borrowed from the Met was also treat for the ears on the Miriam Gideon material.
We have to thank Joan Tower for her vision and generosity: this series is what New York has needed for the last twenty years, a real festival of women’s music and it should become an institution. The women whose music is included in the next programs are: Joan LaBarbara, Julia Wolfe, Pamela Z (who was commissioned), Eve Beglarian, Kati Agócs, Tania Leon, Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, Erin Watson and Joan Tower. So it is is same time same place, Saturday June 9 and Saturday June 16, 2PM, at the Chelsea Art Museum (it’s all the way on the west side by the river, you can take the crosstown bus on 23rd). There are other dates and locations for these programs; so please visit: http://www.oslmusic.org/concerts/calendar for details.
Other ‘noteworthy women of notes’… as they figure on Lawrence Dillon's 111+ most influential pieces since 1970, reads as follows:
Lois V. Vierk