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"talent to burn..." (Fanfare)

 “an acute sonic imagination and sure command of craft.”
 (Chicago Tribune)


"darkly attractive, artful and moving…” (NYT)

"The Genuine Article..onto the 
 season's 'best list' it goes" (Boston Globe)

Laura Schwendinger

Festival Guest Composer 2017

Laura Schwendinger, the first composer to win the American Academy in Berlin Prize, is a Professor of Composition at UW-Madison. Her music is performed by leading artists of our day, including Dawn Upshaw (on tour 1997-2013; TDK/Naxos DVD), Patricia Green, Arditti & JACK Quartets, Jennifer Koh, Janine Jansen, Miranda Cuckson, Matt Haimovitz, ICE, Eighth Blackbird, New Juilliard Ensemble, Collage, StonyBrook Premiere, Boston Musica Viva, Aspen Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Trinity Choir and NOVUS, American Composers Orchestra and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln-Center, Times Center, Symphony Space, BargeMusic, Corcoran Gallery, Institute of Advanced Study-Princeton and Tanglewood, Aspen and Ojai Music Festivals; and at the National Arts Centre Canada, Théâtre Châtelet, Wigmore Hall, and Berlin Philharmonic, and in 2016 held an American League of Orchestras Composer residency with the Richmond Symphony. Her honors include a Guggenheim, Koussevitzky (2), Fromm, Radcliffe Institute, Copland House, Harvard Musical Association, Chamber Music America, League of American Orchestras, New Music USA, two American Academy of Arts and Letters awards (a Goddard Leiberson Fellowship for “mid-career composer of exceptional gifts” and Ives scholarship), First-prize ALEA III, MacDowell (9), Yaddo (7), Tyrone Guthrie Center (5), Bogliasco and Rockefeller Bellagio Center Fellowships. Premieres include a Miller Theater commission, ACO UnSafe Commission, Sounding Beckett (Off-Broadway, Classic Stage Co.).  


Her music has been described as...“Evok(ing) a sense of serene mystery and infinite beauty”, “evincing an acute sonic imagination and sure command of craft.”, “darkly attractive, artful and moving…” "talent to burn…ballsy, confident music-making in both writing and execution…proves that serious contemporary music does not have to dumb down to be immediately accessible and emotional”,“...her music has at its core her own impressive point of view... … displays an acute ear for engaging melodic contours and evocative settings”, “not a single moment in her works sounds contrived, formulaic, or artificial…intensely and strongly "alive", “This was shrewd composing, the genuine article. Onto the ''season's best'' list it goes.” The NY Times Playlist review of her CD High Wire Acts said..“The works grouped together on this captivating disc… sketch(es) musical short stories of somnambulant fragility and purpose.”  


Laura Elise Schwendinger, a 2016 OPERA AMERICA Discovery Grant recipient for her opera Artemisia, is based on the life of Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593 –1656), an important follower of Caravaggio and the first women member of the Accademia del Arte, Florence. When sixteen, Artemisia was raped by Agostino Tassi, while studying with the elder painter. Tassi was sentenced to prison, but never served. The case overshadowed Artemisia’s achievements for years, however today she is regarded as one of the greatest painters of her time. The opera will be is a co-commission by Trinity Wall Street Novus in NY and in San Francisco by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Writer and librettist Ginger Strand, is the author of four books including her new book The Brothers Vonnegut: Science and Fiction in the House of Magic from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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