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, October 17, 2005
Paris flashes

I spent last week in Paris attending pressing family matters. I snuck in a rehearsal of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, conducted by American expatriate John Nelson, about to go on tour with an all-French program. At the auditorium of the Conservatoire de Paris, I heard snippets of Darius Milhaud’s Le boeuf sur le toit (Ox on the Roof) with its funny, mischievous dissonant passages.

On my way out, I saw a huge billboard showed an attractive brunette nude to the waist, with the caption: SHE SHOWED HER BREASTS! SHE SAVED HER LIFE! (covert advertisement for breast cancer screening, French style).

The current food trend was a diet disaster and a vegetarian’s nightmare. Nouvelle cuisine has now been completely discarded for rich, heavy, peasant-like food. Someone dragged me to a food fair where I saw hundreds of goat cheeses in freaky shapes and colors, including a red one well-named “Satan”. Every shop competed for more fat and calories in the shape of rich cheeses, patés, sausages, jams and jellies. The wine-tasting stands seemed attractive enough but I am in essence a teetotaler. A notable and original product however caught my attention: herb-flavored crystal salt, which makes it just about the most refined food item I have ever encountered.

And I heard more divorce horror stories from women…Paris hasn’t changed a bit. In France, woman is second to man. Have you ever looked at French music programs? Are there any women on these programs? Eliane Radigue is certainly a name that should have its place in these events. What about Joelle Leandre - and myself... although I am more American than French at this point, and maybe you understand why!