Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, filmmaker and director/choreographer. A pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance," Monk is the fourth generation singer in her family. Since graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1964, she has created more than 80 music/theater/dance and film works.
During a career that spans 30 years, she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts. "When the time comes, perhaps a hundred years from now, to tally up achievements in the performing arts during the last third of the present century, one name that seems sure to loom large is that of Meredith Monk. In originality, in scope, in depth, there are few to rival her." (Alan M. Kriegsman, Washington Post)
Monk has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Brandeis Creative Arts Award, three Obies (including an award for Sustained Achievement), two Villager Awards , a Bessie for Sustained Creative Achievement, the 1986 National Music Theater Award, sixteen ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition and the 1992 Dance Magazine Award. She has been awarded the honorary degrees of Doctor of Arts from Bard College and the University of the Arts, was named a MacDowell Sigma Alpha Iota Fellow and is a recipient of The Conlon Nancarrow and Yoko Sigiura Fellowship. Her recordings Dolmen Music (ECM New Series) and Our Lady of Late: The Vanguard Tapes (Wergo) were both honored with the German Critics Prize for Best Records of 1981 and 1986. Her film Ellis Island won the CINE Golden Eagle Award, was awarded prized at the Atlanta and San Francisco Film Festivals, and was shown nationally on PBS.
In 1968 Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance and in 1978 she formed Meredith Monk an Vocal Ensemble to perform her unique vocal compositions. She has made 10 recordings, most of which are with ECM New Series. Monk's feature length film, Book of Days aired on PBS, appeared internationally at film festivals, was released theatrically and was chosen for the 1991 Whitney Biennial. Her opera, ATLAS, commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, The Walker Art Center and The American Music Theater Festival premiered in February, 1991, toured the United States and Europe, and had its New York City premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1992. Other recent performances include a 1993 concert at Merkin Hall which included the world premieres of St. Petersburg Waltz, Volcano Songs (Duets) and New York Requiem; a new site-specific work American Archeology #1: Roosevelt Island in September 1994, and performances of Volcano Songs, her newest solo music/theater/dance work at PS 122, NYC, the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR and Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City.
Upcoming plans include domestic and international touring, a commission to compose a new work for the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, continued work on a documentary film of Education of the Girlchild, and a new opera to premiere in the 1995-96 season.