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, August 25, 2008
A Reedy Feeling… Double Entendre

Spending the summer in Manhattan has its occasional rewards – like not getting bitten by mosquitoes for one… I had a delightful afternoon at the Chelsea Arts Museum on Saturday with the Double Entendre Music Ensemble. I always enjoy being around art as well as music, and the art shown all around the musicians set a mood of environmental consciousness from the critical to the humorous: a blackened tree of human construction, the contents of a house replicated in white wood as if a remnant of a decayed civilization, an installation of inflated garbage bags, a array of autumn leaves on the floor… And in the midst of all these references to nature, the woody, almost pastoral sound of Double Entendre with its four bassoons (Edward Burns, Zachary Cummings, Daniel Hane, Dirk Wels) two English horns (Kathryn Engelhardt, Mark Perchanok), two oboes (Christa Robinson, Nancy Ranger), and one powerful contrabassoon (Suzanne Chen) as well as stellar string players Caleb Burhans (violin), John Pickford Richards (viola) and Brian Snow (cello)… a very unusual and pleasing sound that evoked the scent of cedar wood, apple pie baking in the oven, the faint rustle of the wind in the leaves, the sun lightly filtering through the trees. It was my first time hearing this relatively new ensemble. The performance was simply brilliant.

They chose material appropriate for this rather unique combination of players from 20th century repertoire: Malcolm Arnold (who knew… he wrote the theme for Bridge on the River Kwai, the whistling titi, titati ti ti ta), Gordon Jacob, Alan Rideout, Arnold Bax, as well as household names likes Britten and Elgar but the winner was surprisingly the Fantasia on the Dargason from Gustav Holst (the Dargason being some kind of ancient English or Scottish dance) and both my friend Maude and I had tears in our eyes! It will be very interesting when they start commissioning composers – apparently Martin Bresnick is next with upcoming oboe quartet.