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BIOGRAPHIES

 

andrea clearfield

Award-winning composer of music for orchestra, opera, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance, and multimedia collaborations. Clearfield creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces”, the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration” and by Opera News for her “vivid and galvanizing” music of “timeless beauty”.

Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. Among her 150 works are ten large-scale cantatas including one commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Her cantata, Tse Go La (At the threshold of this life) for double chorus and chamber orchestra and other works were inspired by her fieldwork documenting Tibetan melodies in the Himalayas. Her music is published by Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard, Seeadot and International Opus. She is a recipient of a 2016 Pew Fellowship, a 2017 Independence Foundation in the Arts Fellowship, and has also held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and the Copland House among others. Dr. Clearfield served on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts from 1986-2011. She received a DMA from Temple University where she was awarded the Presidential Fellowship and was honored as a Distinguished Alumna. She is the founder and host of the renowned Salon featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music since 1986.

 

JEAN-CLAUDE VAN ITALLIE

Belgian-born holocaust survivor, form-breaking playwright of landmark 1960’s anti-Vietnam War America Hurrah, ensemble playwright of Open Theater and The Serpent.
Jean-Claude is author of some thirty plays and the most produced American translations of Chekhov’s major plays, performer of one person shows, early student of Tibetan lama, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, librettist of the opera Tibetan Book of the Dead with music by Ricky Ian Gordon, master teacher of performance, writing, meditation workshops, author of The Playwright’s Workbook and Tea with Demons, 49 games of Transformation, and more.

He is the founder and director on his farm in Western Massachusetts of Shantigar Foundation for Theater, Meditation, and Healing. Jean-Claude van Itallie was born in Brussels in 1936, emigrated to America in 1940, graduate from Harvard in 1958, and was a seminal force in the explosive Off-Broadway theater of the sixties. He was one of the original playwrights at Ellen Stewart’s LaMama Experimental Theater Club. His translations of Chekhov are prized by directors and actors for their clarity and subtle rhythms. An inspired teacher, van Itallie has taught playwriting and performance and led Writing on Your Feet workshops at Princeton, NYU, Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Columbia, and Middlebury, among other locations. He has transformed an old farm in Western Massachusetts into the Shantigar Foundation for Theater, Mediation, and Healing.

 

LOIS WALDEN

American writer, singer, songwriter, librettist, record producer, performer, and teaching artist. Author of the novels One More Stop (Arcadia, 2010), and Afterworld (Arcadia, 2013), Lois Walden worked as a television writer in Hollywood with many major artists including Dionne Warwick, and Jane Fonda. As founder of the gospel group, The Sisters of Glory, she performed at Woodstock ’94 and at the Vatican for the Pope. She co-produced the group’s critically acclaimed album, Good News in Hard Times, for Warner Bros., as well as writing and co-producing her solo album, Traveller. She was the lyricist for American Dreams Lost and Found, based on the book by Studs Terkel. Her life and music have been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning and Good Morning America.

Her debut novel, One More Stop was a Lambda Literary Awards finalist and a Waterstones New Voices finalist. For the past 15 years Lois has travelled America for The Acting Company teaching teenagers in small towns and inner city schools how to tap into their emotions and understand their world through classic theatre and literature. She is currently co-writing the libretto for the Buddhist opera Mila, Great Sorcerer, and working on her third novel, Beyond Expectation. In addition Lois Walden is the writer for the non-fiction project High School Yearbook, a book, website and social media program empowering young people with cancer and connecting them and their families with others going through similar circumstances throughout the world.