Melissa Smey is Executive Director of the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre at Columbia University, where she leads the campus’s pioneering venture to make the arts a vital part of every Columbian’s experience and the most acclaimed venue for new music in New York City. She has commissioned new works from composers Georges Aperghis, Julio Estrada, Hilda Paredes, and John Zorn; produced the United States premiere productions of Kaija Saariaho’s ballet Maa and James Dillon’s epic new music cycle Nine Rivers; and produced the urban outdoor premiere of John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit, featuring 99 musicians and 1,000 percussion instruments for an audience of over 2,500 in Harlem’s Morningside Park. Smey has held positions at the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Opera, serves on the board of Early Music America, and has served as panelist and speaker for various New York City and national arts organizations including New York University, Philadelphia New Music Project, Works and Process at the Guggenheim, and Chamber Music America.
This video captures the 3rd Annual Morningside Lights: Odysseus on the A Train, inspired by Columbia’s campus-wide celebration of Harlem artist Romare Bearden and his collage series A Black Odyssey.continue reading
The New Yorker’s Alex Ross offers an eloquent preview of Chaya Czernowin’s “rigorous and wild” work, and her Wintersongs series in particular, in advance of this Thursday’s Composercontinue reading