Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance," Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words. She has alternately been proclaimed as a "magician of the voice" and "one of America's coolest composers." During a career that spans more than 40 years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts.
Since graduating Sarah Lawrence College in 1964, Monk has received numerous awards including the prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Award in 1995, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three "Obies" (including an award for Sustained Achievement), two Villager Awards, two "Bessie" awards for Sustained Creative Achievement, the 1986 National Music Theatre Award, the 1992 Dance Magazine Award, and a 2005 ASCAP Concert Music Award. In 2006 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named a United States Artists Fellow, and holds honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Bard College, the University of the Arts, The Juilliard School, the San Francisco Art Institute and the Boston Conservatory. Her recordings Dolmen Music (ECM New Series) and Our Lady of Late: The Vanguard Tapes (Wergo) were honored with the German Critics Prize for Best Records of 1981 and 1986. Her music has been heard in numerous films, including La Nouvelle Vague by Jean-Luc Godard and The Big Lebowski by Joel and Ethan Coen. Monk's publishing relationship with Boosey & Hawkes, begun in 2000, has helped make her scores available to a wider public.
In 1968 Ms. Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. In 1978 she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to expand her musical textures and forms. She has made more than a dozen recordings, most of which are on the ECM New Series label. Her music has been performed by numerous soloists and groups including The Chorus of the San Francisco Symphony, Musica Sacra, The Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Double Edge, Björk, and Bang On A Can All-Stars, among others.