Wendall K. Harrington’s career has embraced diverse disciplines including Projection design for theatre, publishing and video production.
Broadway Design includes: “All The Way,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Gray Gardens,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” “The Elephant Man, “My One And Only,” “The Heidi Chronicles,” “The Will Rogers Follies,” “Having Our Say,” “Company,” “Racing Demon,” “Ragtime,” John Leguizamo’s “Freak,” “The Capeman,” “Putting It Together” and The Who’s “TOMMY.”
Off Broadway work includes: “Angels In America,” “Hapgood,” “A Christmas Carol” at The Paramount; “Merrily We Roll Along” (four times!) and the ill-fated “Whistle Down The Wind.” Opera design: “Werther” at the MET, Julie Taymor’s “The Magic Flute” in Florence, Italy; “A View From The Bridge” at Chicago Lyric, “Die Gezeichneten” at LA Opera, “The Photographer” at BAM, “Transatlantic,” “Grapes Of Wrath,” “Rusalka” for Minnesota Opera; “Nixon In China” for OTSL In Ballet, “The Nutcracker,” for Miami, Houston and San Francisco, “Pictures At An Exhibition,” “Anna Karenina,” “Firebird,” “Cinderella,” “Fairy's Kiss” and “Opera” for Alexei Ratmansky. “Othello” for Lar Lubovich, “Ballet Mechanique” for Doug Varone. Concert work includes The Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense” and Pete Townshend’s “Psychoderelict” as well as tours for Chris Rock and Simon and Garfunkel.
Ms. Harrington is the recipient of the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the American Theatre Wing Award, the TCI Award for Technical Achievement and the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Projections, the Michael Merrit award for collaboration.
As design director of Esquire magazine, Ms. Harrington was responsible for the re-design and relaunch of the “Men’s Magazine of the 90’s.” Later, as editor-at-large for Esquire, she conceived and edited Randy Shilts’s “My Life on the AIDS Tour,” nominated for a National Magazine Award and published in Best American Essays of 1990.
Ms. Harrington has been lecturing on Projection Design for Theatre since the early 90’s and is the head of the Projection Design Concentration at the Yale School of Drama.
Ivo van Hove began his career in 1981 and has been director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001. From 1998 to 2004, he was artistic director the Holland Festival, presenting his selection of international theatre, music, opera and dance. Theatre includes the upcoming theatrical adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life at International Theatre Amsterdam, the upcoming Broadway production of “Network” starring Bryan Cranston, “Network” and “Hedda Gabler” at the National Theatre; “A View from the Bridge” at Young Vic, West End and Broadway; “The Crucible” on Broadway; “Lazarus” in New York and London; and Visconti’s “The Damned” at La Comédie-Française and The Park Avenue Armory.
Ivo van Hove’s work as director for theatre includes “Angels in America,” “Roman Tragedies,” “Kings of War,” “Opening Night,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Scenes from a Marriage,” “Othello,” “The Miser,” “Mourning Becomes Electra,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night” and “The Fountainhead” at Toneelgroep Amsterdam.
His work for musicals includes “Rent” and David Bowie and Edna Walsh’s “Lazarus.” His work for opera includes “Boris Godunov” at Paris Opera; “Lulu;” the entire “Ring des Nibelungen;” “The Makropulos Affair” and “Salome,” at the Dutch National Opera; and the world premiere of “Brokeback Mountain” in Madrid.
Ivo van Hove has been recognized for his work with several awards, including two Olivier awards and two Tony awards for “A View from the Bridge;” two Obie Awards for “More Stately Mansions” and “Hedda Gabler;” The Archangel Award at the Edinburgh Festival; the Critic’s Circle Award; a Molière Award for best production in France; a Dutch Oeuvre Award, together with Jan Versweyveld and the Russian Stanislavsky Award for outstanding achievement on the world art of directing. He has also received an honorary doctorate for general merit from the University of Antwerp and the Culture Prize for Overall Cultural Merit from the Flemish Government. Ivo van Hove is Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and King Filip of Belgium awarded him Commander of the Order of the Crown.
David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works include the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Yellow Face,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad,” and “FOB,” as well as the Broadway musicals “Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida” (co-author), “Flower Drum Song” (2002 revival) and “Disney’s Tarzan.”
Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose collaborators have included composers such as Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov and Bright Sheng; these works have been honored with two Grammy Awards. In addition, he co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop icon Prince. Since 2015, Hwang has been a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” His screenplays include “Possession,” “M. Butterfly,” and “Golden Gate;” he is currently writing an animated feature, “Tiger Empress,” for Pearl Studio in China, and penning the live-action feature adaptation of “Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Recent honors include his 2018 induction into the Theater Hall of Fame, the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and a 2015 Ford Foundation “Art of Change” Award. He serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center, as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and as Chair of the American Theatre Wing, which founded and co-presents the Tony Awards.
In the 2017-18 season, “M. Butterfly” was revived on Broadway, in a production directed by Julie Taymor, and his opera “An American Soldier,” with composer Huang Ruo, premiered at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. His newest work, “Soft Power,” a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), opened to acclaim in 2018 at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and The Curran Theatre in San Francisco, and will receive its NYC premiere in 2019.
Lisa Kron is a playwright and performer. She wrote the book and lyrics for musical “Fun Home” which won five Tony awards including Best Book, Score, and Musical, and was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Other plays include “In The Wake,” “Well,” and the Obie- Award winning “2.5 Minute Ride.”
Acting credits include “Well” (Best Actress Tony nom.), and the Foundry Theater’s acclaimed production of “Good Person of Szechuan” (Lortel Award, Best Supporting Actress). She has received Guggenheim, Sundance and MacDowell fellowships, Doris Duke, Cal Arts/Alpert, and Helen Merrill awards, grants from Creative Capital and NYFA, and the Kleban Prize for libretto writing. Lisa is a founding member of the OBIE- and Bessie-Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers.
She serves on the boards of the MacDowell Colony and the Sundance Institute, is a proud member of Actors Equity, and is Vice-President of the Dramatists Guild of America.
David Lan is a South African-born British playwright, theater director and social anthropologist. He was writer in residence at the Royal Court Theatre 1994 to 1996 and artistic director of the Young Vic 2000 to 2018. During his time the Young Vic won Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle, South Bank Show, Tony and Drama Desk awards, Lan himself receiving an Olivier for the 2004 Young Vic season and the 2018 Special Olivier Award, as well as the 2018 Critics’ Circle Special Award and the RAI Marsh Anthropology in the World Award.
His productions seen recently in New York include “A View from the Bridge” (Broadway), “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Jungle” (St Ann’s Warehouse), “Yerma” (The Armory), “A Man of Good Hope” and “A Doll’s House” (BAM). He was Consulting Artistic Director at The Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts from 2014 to 2016.
Joseph V. Melillo, executive producer since 1999, is responsible for the artistic direction of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). During his tenure, BAM has enjoyed increases in both programming and audience attendance in its Harvey Lichtenstein Theater, Howard Gilman Opera House, Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafé. Prior to his current position, Melillo served as BAM’s producing director, following a six-year tenure as founding director of the Next Wave Festival.
Over the years, Melillo has fostered the work of emerging and established artists and forged dynamic artistic partnerships. He has furthered the global reach of BAM’s mission through projects like The Bridge Project—a three-year series of international theater engagements featuring a trans-Atlantic company of actors directed by Sam Mendes and produced by BAM, The Old Vic, and Neal Street—and most recently DanceMotion USAsm, a cultural diplomacy program in partnership with the US Department of State that shares the rich dance culture of The United States with international audiences through performance and cultural exchange. In 2012, BAM expanded its campus to include the 40,000-square-foot, seven-story BAM Richard B. Fisher Building, named in honor of longtime friend and BAM Endowment Trust Chairman Richard B. Fisher (1936—2004). The BAM Fisher features an intimate and flexible new performance space, adding a third stage for BAM’s world-renowned Next Wave Festival.
Melillo was recognized by the French government as a Chevalier (1999) and an Officier (2004) de L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary OBE for his outstanding commitment to British performing arts in America. Melillo was appointed Knight of the Royal Order of the Polar Star in 2007, in recognition of his role in solidifying ties between the performing arts communities of Sweden and the United States, and in 2012 he was named cultural ambassador for Taiwan in recognition of his efforts to bring the arts of Taiwan to the US. In May of 2012, Melillo was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY, and the Gaudium Award from the Breukelein Institute. He was awarded the title of Knight of the National Order of Québec in 2016, and received the 2018 Bessies Presenter Award for Outstanding Curating. Melillo is also on the US Nominating Committee for the Praemium Imperiale, a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association.
Melillo has served on the faculty of the Brooklyn College Graduate Program in Arts Management and on the boards of directors for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and En Garde Arts. He was a panelist for the NEA Dance Program and the New York State Council on the Arts, and served as Multidisciplinary Panel Chair for the Pew Fellowships in the Arts 2003 and 2007 Awards. Melillo is a lecturer at colleges and universities nationally and internationally. He currently serves as a member of the International Arts Advisory Committee for the Wexner Prize (Wexner Center for the Arts), and served as both a 2017 Gish Award panelist and a 2017 Heinz Award juror. Melillo earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and theater at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut and a Masters of Fine Arts in speech and drama at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is currently in his 35th year at BAM.
Nico Muhly (b.1981) is an American composer and sought‐after collaborator whose influences range from American Minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and others, he has written more than 80 works for the concert stage, including the opera Marnie (2017), which premiered at the English National Opera and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018.
Muhly is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and, as an arranger, has paired with Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons and others. His work for stage and screen include music for the Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie” and scores for films including the Academy Award-winning “The Reader.” Born in Vermont, Muhly studied composition at the Juilliard School before working as an editor and conductor for Philip Glass. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, “Speaks Volumes” (2006) and “Mothertongue” (2008). He lives in New York City.
Lynn Nottage is a playwright and a screenwriter, and the :irst woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays include “Sweat” (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award), which moved to Broadway after a sold out run at The Public Theater, “Mlima's Tale” (Outer Critics Circle Nomination), “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” (Lilly Award, Drama Desk Nomination), “Ruined” (Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award), “Intimate Apparel” (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play), “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine” (OBIE Award), “Crumbs from the Table of Joy,” “Las Meninas,” “Mud, River, Stone,” “Por’knockers” and “POOF!.” In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play “Intimate Apparel” into an opera at Lincoln Center. She has also developed “This is Reading,” a performance installation at the Franklin Street, Reading Railroad Station in Reading, PA. She was writer/producer on the first season of Netflix series “She's Gotta Have It” directed by Spike Lee. Nottage is a member of the Dramatists Guild, an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, and the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg "Mimi" Distinguished Playwright Award, Doris Duke Artists Award and PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, among others.
Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte.
In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. Learn more about ALJA here: http://www.afrolatinjazz.org.
In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland. He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba.
During 2016-2018, Arturo has performed with orchestras and bands including his own Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and Arturo O’Farrill Sextet, as well as other Orchestras and smaller ensembles in the US, Europe, Russia, Australia, and South America.
An avid supporter of all the Arts, Arturo has performed with Ballet Hispanico and the Malpaso Dance Company, for whom he has written three ballets. In addition, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company is touring a ballet entitled “Open Door,” choreographed by Ron Brown to several of Arturo’s compositions and recordings. Ron Brown’s own Evidence Dance Company has commissioned Arturo to compose “New Conversations,” which premiered in the Summer of 2018 at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA.
Arturo has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, The Apollo Theater, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Young Peoples Chorus of New York, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album “CUBA: The Conversation Continues” (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition and the 2016 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His powerful “Three Revolutions” from the album “Familia-Tribute to Chico” and “Bebo” was the 2018 Grammy Award (his sixth) winner for Best Instrumental Composition.
Jason Samuels Smith (performer, choreographer, instructor, artistic director, public speaker, actor) is a multi-talented leader and advocate for the Art form of Tap. Over the course of his extensive travels, he has influenced, and at times, introduced the culture of tap dance to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Accolades include a Dance Magazine Award, an Emmy and an American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography”. Mr. Samuels-Smith has also received the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award; Bessie recognition (NY Dance and Performance Awards); Hoofers Award; Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for creating the First Annual Los Angeles Tap Festival (2003); Proclamation declaring April 23rd “Jason Samuels Day” from the City of Shreveport, Louisiana; the “Ivy of Education” from Brainerd Institute; the “President Kenny Award” from Stony Brook; an Andrew Mellon Grant/ Joyce Foundation Residency; an Alpert/ McDowell Residency Award; an Arts International Grant; National Performance Network and Map funding among others in support of his work.
Choreography and special guest performances include feature films “Idlewild” with Outkast; “Black Nativity;” TV hit series “Psych” with Dule Hill as well as a live performance for Comic Con; MYA on CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars; FOX’s hit series “So You Think You Can Dance” (solo & company special guest performances); ABC’s “Dancing with The Stars;” and special guest appearances with world renowned singers including Jennifer Halliday and Lalah Hathaway. Other television and film credits include the TV One Christmas Special (2013), Dean Hargrove’s award-winning short film “Tap Heat” (co-star) and full-length documentary “Tap World” (Executive Consultant); co-star of dance documentary “UPAJ” which aired on PBS (2014); “Nostalgia: A Tap Film;” AlleyOop Films music videos “Kaleidoscope” and “Nautilus”; and Debbie Allen’s AMC series “Cool Women” to name a few.
Performances include “Sammy” (tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.); “Soul Possessed” (leading role); Tony Award winning Broadway show “Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk” (principal and lead roles); and “Imagine Tap!” (leading role). Mr. Samuels Smith continues to tour the world with his own tap company formerly known as A.C.G.I (Anybody Can Get It) which empowered the careers of many popular tap dancers today. Some of his projects include JaJa Productions Band; Chasing The Bird–A Charlie Parker inspired work; “Transformation: Rhythm’s Roots, a collaboration with critically acclaimed musician Owen “Fiidla” Brown (Valentine), commissioned by the Charles & Joan Gross Family Foundation.
After 10 years of touring worldwide to sold-out audiences and critical acclaim, India Jazz Suites also billed as Fastest Feet In Rhythm has come to an end due to the untimely passing of great friend and co-star Kathak Master Pandit Chitresh Das (2015). The work has inspired many as Smith continues to tour with Das’ principal disciple from India, as well as other collaborations including “SPEAK” featuring an all-female cast.
Jason’s extensive work as an instructor/ mentor has had an immense impact on opening the doors to many careers of successful working tap dancers in the industry today. In addition to working on faculty at Broadway Dance Center (NYC), founding and directing the Tap program at Debbie Allen Dance Academy (LA), and offering special guest seasonal workshops at Steps on Broadway, Jason has consulted on several new festivals, projects and events in order to help garner success in supporting venues that highlight Tap and fellow rhythmic arts. Jason has also privately trained numerous artists in the industry, as well as coached dancers to prepare for Broadway and beyond.
As a humanitarian, Jason has supported organizations such as Dancers Responding to Aids, Tied to Greatness, Career Transitions for Dancers, Groove With Me, Tap Into A Cure, The Elm Project, and TapTakeOverHarlem to name a few. As the official Tap representative for BLOCH he has successfully developed his own professional tap shoe available to every continent. Jason aims to promote lasting respect for the art form and to create opportunities for tap dancers, as he continues to provide leadership as a spokesman for tap around the world.
As a Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy® winning and Oscar® nominated filmmaker, Julie Taymor has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction.
Film credits include “Fool's Fire,” “Oedipus Rex” starring Jessye Norman which received an Emmy Award as well as the International Classical Music Award, “Titus,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; “Frida” starring Salma Hayek which garnered six Academy Award nominations and won two; “Across the Universe” which received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations, “The Tempest,” starring Helen Mirren and a cinematic version of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” filmed during her critically acclaimed, sold-out stage production at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn. She is currently developing a feature film of Gloria Steinem’s “My Life On The Road” starring Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, and Bette Midler and a TV Series, “Hackabout” based on Erica Jong’s book, “FANNY.”
Her Broadway adaptation of “The Lion King” debuted in 1997. An instant sensation, it received 11 Tony® Award nominations, with Julie receiving awards for Best Director and Costume Designer. The show has played over 100 cities in 19 countries, and its worldwide gross exceeds that of any entertainment title in box office history.
Other theater credits include the play “Grounded, “starring Anne Hathaway, at the Public Theater as well as Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” “The Green Bird,” and “Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass,” which earned five Tony Award nominations including one for her direction. Operas include “Oedipus Rex,” with Jessye Norman, “The Flying Dutchman,” “Salome,” “Die Zauberflote “(in repertory at the Met), “The Magic Flute” (the abridged English version, which inaugurated a PBS series entitled “Great Performances at the Met”); and Elliot Goldenthal’s “Grendel.”
Taymor is a recipient of the 1991 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, as well as a 2015 inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, the recipient of the 2015 Shakespeare Theatre Company’s William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, and a 2017 Disney Legends Award honoree. She recently directed “M. Butterfly” starring Clive Owen on Broadway.
Multi-Grammy-nominated conductor, composer, and keyboardist Julian Wachner—recently named one of Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year for 2018—serves as director of music at Trinity Church Wall Street, overseeing an annual season of hundreds of events at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan. After serving for nine seasons from 2008-2017 as the music director of the Grammy Award-winning Washington Chorus—with whom he won ASCAP’s Alice Parker award for adventurous programming and Chorus America’s Margaret Hilles award for Choral Excellence—in March 2018 Wachner was appointed artistic director of Michigan’s Grand Rapids Bach Festival, where he will lead the 12th biennial festival in March 2019.
In addition to programming and conducting the music for weekly services at Trinity Church Wall Street, Wachner conducts Trinity’s celebrated Bach + One series, leads the innovative improvised Compline by Candlelight, and curates the long-standing Concerts at One series, an eclectic program of weekly concerts. Performances and services are webcast in live HD and available for on-demand viewing at Trinity’s website. Wachner serves as principal conductor of Trinity’s resident contemporary music orchestra NOVUS NY, the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and as an organist, he gives recitals in the Pipes at One series at St. Paul’s Chapel.
Highlights of the current season include Wachner conducting the world premiere of Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins’s new opera “p r i s m” at REDCAT with the Los Angeles Opera, in addition to the East Coast premiere of the work in New York at La MaMa during the Prototype Festival in January. Along with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Wachner and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street perform David Lang’s “Little Match Girl Passion” at the Metropolitan Museum, along with Handel’s “Dixit Dominus.“ The latter composer’s oratorio Susanna will be presented by the same forces during the spring Time’s Arrow festival at St. Paul’s Chapel. For the inaugural season of Manhattan’s much-anticipated new venue The Shed at Hudson Yards, Wachner and the choir give numerous performances of Arvo Part’s “Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima”—composed as a response to the paintings of Gerhard Richter—as part of the venue’s Reich Richter Part installation.
Wachner also enjoys an active schedule as a guest conductor. Orchestral engagements have included performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra; Montreal, Pacicic, Calgary, and Pittsburgh Symphonies; New York Philharmonic; Seraphic Fire; National Arts Centre Orchestra; Philharmonia Baroque; Hong Kong Philharmonic; Bang on a Can All-Stars; and Apollo’s Fire. In addition, he has conducted the San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Juilliard Opera Theater, and New York City Opera, as well as for Carnegie Hall Presents, National Sawdust, and the Lincoln Center Festival.
Wachner, as a composer, is an artist-in-residence at National Sawdust for the 2018-19 season. His extensive catalogue of more than 100 works was considerably enlarged during the 2017-18 season. Premiered works included “Gaudé: An LB Anniversary for Large Orchestra,” commissioned by the Colorado Music Festival; “TS Variations,” commissioned by the Royal College of Canadian Organists; and “Psalm 90,” composed for the combined forces of The Tallis Scholars, Norwegian Soloists Choir, Netherlands Chamber Choir, and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street for Lincoln Center's White Lights Festival.
His “Regina Coeli à 8” was recorded by London’s ORA Singers on the Harmonia Mundi label, before the piece was given its U.S. premiere in the current season by The Choir of Trinity Wall Street under Wachner’s direction; he composed his Epistle Mass in collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek for Trinity Church Wall Street's “Mass Reimaginings” project; and the premiere of his festival setting of the hymn “I'll Praise My Maker” was performed at the opening ceremony of the American Guild of Organists Regional Convention in Richmond, Virginia. Crowning these works was the world premiere of Wachner's second full-length opera, “REV 23,” in Boston, composed to an original text by Boston creator and librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs that was conceived as a comedic fable on Armageddon. The opera has its New York premiere at the 2020 Prototype Festival at the Gerald Lynch Theater.
The recipient of multiple Grammy nominations, Wachner has recording projects scheduled this season with Terry Riley, Luna Pearl Woolf, David T. Little, and Ellen Reid, and his studio recording of Philip Glass’s “Symphony No. 5” will be released on the composer’s Orange Mountain Music label. He has recorded on the Chandos, Naxos, Atma Classique, Erato, Cantaloupe Music, ARSIS, Dorian, Acis, and Musica Omnia labels. Wachner’s music is published exclusively by E.C. Schirmer and he is represented worldwide by Opus 3 Artists. In 2017, Wachner, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and NOVUS NY released a recording of Du Yun and Royce Vavrek's opera “Angel's Bone, “winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. Other recent releases include the Grammy-nominated recording of Handel's “Israel in Egypt,” and the Grammy- nominated world premiere recording of Julia Wolfe's 2015 Pulitzer prize-winner “Anthracite Fields.” Wachner and the choir reprised the latter piece this season at the Lackawanna Historical Society in Scranton, PA, formerly a center of the anthracite coal industry, and at Carnegie Hall.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Founder/Visioning Partner) is from Kansas City, Missouri. After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she received her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion.
In 1984, Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. In addition to 34 works for UBW, She has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University and others; and with collaborators including Compagnie Jant-Bi from Senegal and Nora Chipaumire. UBW was selected as one of three U.S. dance companies to inaugurate a cultural diplomacy program for the U.S. Department of State in 2010.
Jawole developed a unique approach to enable artists to strengthen effective involvement in cultural organizing and civic engagement, which evolved into UBW’s acclaimed Summer Leadership Institute. She serves as director of the Institute, founder/visioning partner of UBW and currently holds the position of the Nancy Smith Fichter Professor of Dance and Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor at Florida State University.
Jawole received a 2008 United States Artists Wynn fellowship and a 2009 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial. As an artist whose work is geared towards building equity and diversity in the arts Jawole was awarded the 2013 Arthur L. Johnson Memorial award by Sphinx Music at their inaugural conference on diversity in the arts. In 2013, Jawole received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and honorary degrees from Tufts University and Rutgers University. Recently, Jawole received the 2015 Dance Magazine Award, 2016 Dance/USA Honor Award and the 2017 Bessies Lifetime Achievement Award.