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Meredith Monk

CountryUnited States of America
Date of birth20 November 1942
OccupationComposer, Performer, Singer

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, choreographer, filmmaker, and creator of new opera and music theater works. During a career spanning five decades, she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts and a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique”. In 1965, she began her innovative exploration of the voice as a multifaceted instrument and subsequently composed and performed many solo pieces for unaccompanied voice and voice/keyboard. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to further expand her musical textures and forms. Her vocal music is an eloquent language in and of itself which expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words. In addition to her groundbreaking vocal and music theater pieces (which include Book of Days, Dolmen Music, mercy, impermanence, and ATLAS), she has created vital new repertoire for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments. Her music has also appeared in motion pictures by Jean-Luc Godard and the Coen Brothers, among others. Celebrated internationally, her music has been presented by Lincoln Center Festival, Houston Grand Opera, London’s Barbican Centre, and at major venues in countries from Brazil to Syria.

Meredith Monk’s numerous honors include a MacArthur “Genius” Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With a discography featuring more than a dozen recordings, mostly on ECM, her CD impermanence was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award. In 2005 her 40th year of performing and creating new music was celebrated by a four-hour marathon at Zankel Hall. Another marathon, Meredith Monk Music @ the Whitney, was presented at the Whitney Museum in 2009, followed by the site-specific Ascension Variations at the Guggenheim Museum, featuring over 120 performers. Her new music theater work, Songs of Ascension, was performed at BAM’s Next Wave Festival in October 2009 and recently won the Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival. In March 2010, her newest commission, WEAVE for Two Voices, Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, had its world premiere with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, followed by an April 2010 West Coast premiere with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Disney Hall.

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