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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Saturday, June 10, 2006
Outsourcing of composers

This came as a shocking revelation: are American composers being outsourced? As I perused the Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming season, I was excited to find out they are presenting at least one new opera: The First Emperor, by Tan Dun, staged by China’s leading film director Zhang Yimou with libretto by national book award winner Ha Jin. Let’s face it: many of leading opera/musical theater composers are Asian-born males, such as Tan Dun, Bright Sheng and Fred Ho.

For some years now, observing the programming of the Lincoln Center Festival and Brooklyn Academy of music, I noticed that most of the work presented is ‘outsourced’ from various parts of the world. Whereas the availability of worldwide culture is a progressive value, the neglect of American culture – the result of 20 years of inadequate support and even censoring national policies - is beginning to take its toll. It is no surprise that the stronger works emerge from civilizations where the arts are still considered valuable.