30th Anniversary Season
LA Opera names Matthew Aucoin
as its first ever Artist in Residence
(Los Angeles) January 14, 2016 — Plácido Domingo, LA Opera's Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, announced today that Matthew Aucoin—the composer, conductor, pianist and writer recently hailed by The New York Times Magazine as "opera's great 25-year-old hope"—will join the company as its first ever Artist in Residence. The three-year appointment, which will begin in the company's forthcoming 2016/17 season, represents a major step forward in LA Opera's longstanding commitment to the development of music and composers of our time.
"LA Opera has always fostered emerging artists and emphasized the creation of new works," noted Mr. Domingo, "and this appointment boldly demonstrates our commitment to building a new kind of opera company for 21st-century audiences. Matthew has already made a name for himself as one of the most dynamic new voices in classical music and we have been closely watching his artistic growth. His residency here will be a fantastic opportunity for our community to play an ongoing role in the development of this extraordinary musician."
Matthew Aucoin redefines the expectations of the composer's role and puts a new face on it. His work is equally surprising and revolutionary, taking inspiration from the historical traditions of opera while infusing it with the rhythms, words and esthetics of the contemporary world. Born in 1990, he has already amassed an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades. He will bring his passion for the art form and his dedication to the next generation of opera lovers to Los Angeles and to his new role at LA Opera.
"Matthew Aucoin's youth belies the wealth and breadth of his experience and our confidence in his gifts," explains Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera's president and chief executive officer. "I think that he has only scratched the surface of his potential. As our first Artist in Residence, Matthew will fuel the imaginations of our own emerging artists and invite audiences of all ages to experience new forms of opera. By giving him the time and creative freedom to create and explore, we expect him to bridge the past with the present in both the pieces he creates and the experiences he elicits."
"I first met Matthew in Italy at the Spoleto Festival in 2010 when he played in a chamber ensemble that I was conducting," said James Conlon, LA Opera's Richard Seaver Music Director. "It was clear at the time that he was exceptionally gifted. It comes as no surprise to me that the ensuing years have more than confirmed that first impression. His multi-faceted brilliance is now evident to all. I look forward to collaborating with him and I am delighted that he will share his considerable talents with us all at LA Opera."
In the first year of his residency, Mr. Aucoin will conduct the LA Opera premiere of a major 20th-century work. He will also curate and contribute music to a new score to be presented as part of the Off Grand program. (Details of LA Opera's plans for the 2016/17 season will be announced on January 26, 2016.) He will be in residence at LA Opera for eight weeks every season. During his residency, he will have the opportunity to focus on what fuels his passion by collaborating with aspiring musicians and students. He will work closely with participants in the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and also participate in a variety of the company's educational and community engagement programming, helping to connect young people with classical music as well as encouraging blossoming young composers.
In the years that follow, Mr. Aucoin's role will grow. In the 2017/18, he will conduct two productions, including one of his own operas. For the 2018/19 season, he will compose and co-write the libretto for a new opera; he will also conduct its premiere.
"I’m honored and humbled to be joining the LA Opera family," said Mr. Aucoin. "It is a thrill to work with colleagues who feel that new music is essential to the world we live in, and who also believe that the past isn’t past. Opera is one big adventure of human evolution, and LA Opera’s forward-thinking attitude is just what opera needs in order to thrive and evolve. On a personal note, it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to find an artistic home where I can unite various aspects of my artistic identity: composition and conducting, music and poetry, solitary and collaborative creation. So it’s a dream come true to be composing music for, and performing music with, the extraordinary artists of LA Opera."
About Matthew Aucoin
In the 2014/15 season, Matthew Aucoin conducted the premieres of two of his own operas: Crossing, at Boston’s American Repertory Theater; and Second Nature, a chamber opera for young audiences, at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Aucoin wrote the libretti for both works. He is currently at work on a new opera for the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater’s New Works program.
In the coming months, Mr. Aucoin will conduct the premiere of his newest orchestral work, commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. His new song cycle, set to texts by James Merrill and co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and London's Wigmore Hall, will be premiered by tenor Paul Appleby and pianist Ken Noda at recitals in New York, Chicago and Notre Dame. Violinist Jennifer Koh will premiere his new work for solo violin at the New York Philharmonic Biennale and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Aucoin is also currently at work on a piano concerto commissioned by The Gilmore for pianist Charlie Albright.
Mr. Aucoin is a graduate of Harvard College and a recipient of a graduate diploma in composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with composer Robert Beaser. Shortly before he graduated from Harvard, he was hired as the youngest assistant conductor in the history of the Metropolitan Opera. From 2013 to 2015, he was the Solti Conducting Apprentice at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he studied with Riccardo Muti and, in 2014, made his CSO debut subbing for an indisposed Pierre Boulez.
He remains an active pianist, recently performing in recitals in New York, Boston, Edinburgh, Spoleto and Toronto with his regular collaborator, violinist Keir GoGwilt. He has performed in several Chicago Symphony Orchestra chamber concerts and also performs with leading opera singers including Renée Fleming, Paulo Szot, Rod Gilfry and Anthony Roth Costanzo. His essays and poetry have appeared in The Yale Review, The Colorado Review, The Boston Globe and The Harvard Advocate, and he has served as guest lecturer for the New York Shakespeare Society and a guest host for New York’s WQXR.
To download a high-resolution photograph of Matthew Aucoin, click here.
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