Laura Elise Schwendinger
The first composer to win the Berlin Prize, Laura Elise Schwendinger, Professor of Composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was born in Mexico City. Her music has been performed by leading artists including Dawn Upshaw (Tour 1997-2013; Naxos DVD), the Arditti and JACK Quartets, Jennifer Koh, Janine Jansen, Matt Haimovitz, Miranda Cuckson, ICE, Eighth Blackbird, New Juilliard Ensemble, Collage, StonyBrook Premiere, Boston Musica Viva, Aspen Ensemble, Lincoln Trio, Trinity Wall Street Novus and American Composers Orchestra (UnSafe series Commission, Zankel Hall) and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra; At venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall-Lincoln Center, Times Center, Symphony Space, Poisson Rouge, BargeMusic, Corcoran Gallery, the Tanglewood, Aspen, Bennington and Ojai Music Festivals, and internationally at Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonic, National Arts Centre CA, and the Theatre Chatelet in Paris. She was a League of Composers/New Music USA resident composer with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in 2016. She has been on faculty at summer Festivals such as New Music on the Point, Bennington, the Irish Composition Summer School and in 2017, the Tallis Music Festival in Switzerland.
Her honors include those from the Guggenheim and Fromm Foundations, Radcliffe Institute, Copland House, two American Academy of Arts and Letters awards (Goddard Leiberson Fellowship for “mid-career composer of exceptional gifts” and Ives Scholarship), and First-prize of the 1995 ALEA III Competition. Commissions include two from the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Harvard Musical Assoc. and Chamber Music America; Fellowship residencies from MacDowell (9), Yaddo (7), Rockefeller’s Bellagio and the Bogliasco Foundation. Notable premieres include those from Miller theater, Sounding Beckett (Off Broadway, Classic Stage Co.), her High Wire Act, performed by dozens of groups, Creature Quartet by JACK, Arc of Fire by the Lincoln Trio and nominated for a Pulitzer by WFMT in Chicago, and her opera Artemisia, premiered by Julian Wachner with Trinity Wall Street NOVUS as part of the Times Arrow Festival (1/7/17), was a recipient of a National Opera Center Discovery Grant.
William Zagorski (Fanfare) wrote of her C’e La Luna Questa Sera? “it evokes a sense of serene mystery and infinite beauty.” John Van Rhein wrote of Eighth Blackbird’s performance of High Wire Act (Chicago Trib) “it evinced an acute sonic imagination and sure command of craft.” Of her Song for Andrew, Anthony Tommasini wrote (NYT) “ the piece is darkly attractive, artful and moving...” and of her Fable, Richard Buell (Boston Globe) wrote “ is was shrewd composing, the genuine article. Onto the ‘’season’s best’’ list it goes.” the NY Times review by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of her Centaur CD read “ the chamber works grouped together on this captivating disc show off Laura Elise Schwendinger’s acute ear for unusual textures. In these works... she sketches musical short stories of somnambulant fragility and purpose.” Her Albany CD, features concertos with Matt Haimovitz, Christina Jennings and Nicole Paiement.
More about the composer can be found at: www.lauraschwendinger.com