Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, filmmaker, and director/choreographer. A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance,” she has created more than 200 works. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, three “Obies,” and a “Bessie” for Sustained Creative Achievement. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.
In 1968, Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. She formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble in 1978 to perform her unique compositions. In 1999, she performed a Vocal Offering for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama as part of the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles. In 2000, her music was honored by a three concert retrospective entitled Voice Travel as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Monk’s first orchestra piece, Possible Sky, premiered in 2003 in Miami and was performed by the Hamburg Symphony in 2006. Stringsongs, her first composition for string quartet had its world premiere at the Barbican Center in 2005. In conjunction with her 50th season of creating and performing work, Monk was named the 2014-15 Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall.
Recently she received two of the highest honors bestowed to a living artist in the United States—the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.
A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Monk is a student of Acharya Pema Chodron. In addition to workshops and master classes at Omega, the Garrison Institute and the Zen Mountain Monastery, she has co-taught workshops with Acharya Judy Lief and Lanny Harrison both in New York and at Naropa University, where she first encountered the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the mid-1970s.
Monk has made more than a dozen recordings, and her music has been heard in numerous films. Her CD, impermanence, was nominated for a Grammy, and her theater work, Songs of Ascension, premiered in 2008. Her newest music theater work, Cellular Songs, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 2018.
What People are Saying About Meredith Monk
“Meredith Monk has kept, quietly and firmly, to her own course, with the singleness of purpose and richness of vision of a truly great artist.””
—New York Times