Discipline: Music Composition

Marisa Michelson

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2015

Marisa Michelson is a Jonathan Larson Award-winning composer, a singer, and a voice teacher. Tamar of the River, her experimental musical (written with Joshua H. Cohen) was produced by Prospect Theater in 2013, released as a cast album on Yellow Sound Label in 2014 and hailed as “majestically opulent” (Broadway World), “intriguing...full of unbounded inventiveness” (Playbill). Jesse Green recently called Tamar of the River “one of the most extraordinary scores in years” (New York Magazine). Tamar of the River was also produced as a theatrical oratorio for Vince Peterson’s Choral Chameleon.

Current work in development includes Naamah’s Ark, an oratorio with Royce Vavrek commissioned by Ted Sperling for MasterVoices plus four community choirs.

Song of Song of Songs (developed with Ethan Heard, choreography by Chase Brock, Judson Memorial Church) is part of her "Desire and Divinity Project," a musical ritual performance meditation on Sappho, Hildegard von Bingen, Heloise D’Argenteuil and Marguerite Porete.

With librettist Mark Campbell, Michelson wrote The Other Room, a 30-minute music-theatre piece scored for voice, cello, piano, and electronics.

Musicals in development include Scheherazade, a musical adaptation of Jason Grote’s acclaimed play, 1001 (York Theatre, Theatreworks Palo Alto, New Dramatists, Montclair University).

Previous music-theatre pieces:Still Life with Toe Shoes (Old Deerfield Productions; Emerson College); Hotel Sarajevo (CAP 21; hotInk Festival; Smith College); The Lovers (Prospect Theater Company; Vineyard Playhouse on Martha’s Vineyard).

Awards: Jonathan Larson; American Musical Voices: The Next Generation; St. Botolph Award; Grant to study Indian Hindustani singing in India. Residencies: MacDowell; Ucross; Theatreworks Palo Alto; New Dramatists.



Marisa Michelson worked in the Watson studio.

Built in 1916 in memory of Regina Watson of Chicago, a musician and teacher, this studio was donated by a group of her friends, along with funds for its maintenance. Originally designed to serve as a composers’ studio and recital hall for chamber music, the latter purpose was soon found to be too disruptive to…

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