Biography

Paola Prestini is “the enterprising composer and impresario” (New York Times) whose interdisciplinary vision is helping to shape the future of new music. Named one of Musical America’s “Top 30 Musical Innovators 2016″ and one of the “Top 100 Composers in the World under 40” (NPR), her music has been commissioned by and been performed at Carnegie Hall, by the Chicago Symphony (Music Now), the New York Philharmonic (Biennale), New York City Opera, the Morgan Library/The Juilliard School, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet. Her compositions have been performed worldwide, from the Kennedy Center, BAM, and the Park Avenue Armory, to London’s Barbican Centre. She has collaborated with Beth Morrison Projects, Brooklyn Rider, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the Attacca Quartet, the Young People’s Chorus, vocalists such as Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn, Jessica Rivera, Hila Plitmann, Rinde Eckert and Helga Davis, librettists Cerise Jacobs, Donna Di Novelli, Mark Campbell and Royce Vavrek, conductor Julian Wachner, performers such as Maya Beiser, Tim Fain, Ian Rosenbaum and Jeffrey Zeigler, and directors such as Michael Counts, Julian Crouch, and Robert Wilson.

Prestini is the Creative and Executive Director of National Sawdust, a nonprofit Brooklyn-based space for arts incubation, performance, and recording, and serves as “visionary-in-chief” (Time Out New York) of VisionIntoArt, the non-profit multimedia production company she co-founded as a student in 1999. VIA is the sustaining force behind more than one hundred original productions to date. Prestini recently presided over the launch of VIA Records, hailed as “an essential new voice in the future of American classical music” (Q2 Music).

Incorporating powerful visual and dramatic components, Prestini’s multimedia creations address such extra-musical issues as conservation, astrophysics, and politics. She works frequently with Creative Producer Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects to create large scale multimedia works that include Gilgamesh, an opera with Michael Counts and Cerise Jacobs for Arts Emerson at the Cutler Majestic; the Labyrinth Installation Concertos with Maya Beiser and Tim Fain (and Cornelius Dufallo), recently performed at the Isabella Gardner Museum; The Hubble Cantata a collaboration with Royce Vavrek, commissioned by Bay Chamber Concerts and VisionIntoArt/NS, with virtual reality and narrations by astrophysicist Mario Livio performed at Bric’s Celebrate Brooklyn to an audience of +6,000; and Aging Magician with performer/librettist Rinde Eckert, director/designer Julian Crouch, instrument inventor Mark Stewart and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, commissioned by the Walker Art Center and Krannert Center with performances at ASU Gammage and the New Victory Theater. Other projects include Epiphany for the Young People’s Chorus, performed at BAM’s 2015 Next Wave Festival with the Young People’s Chorus; The Colorado, Murat Eyuboglu’s eco/film cantata developed at MASS MoCA for Roomful of Teeth, Glenn Kotche, and Jeffrey Zeigler, (performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Houston’s Da Camera series and Stanford Live). Works in development include Two Oars, a new opera with Robert Wilson; The Hotel That Time Forgot, a new work for orchestra and video artist that premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra; and a new mass The Imaginary World of Wild Order for the Mass Re-Imaginings Projects commissioned by Choir of Trinity Wall Street with text by Brenda Shaughnessy.

Prestini’s honors include two ASCAP awards, fellowships from Paul & Daisy Soros and Carnegie Hall, and the Sundance Institute. She has been granted residencies at MASS MoCA, The Park Avenue Armory, The Watermill Center, Florida’s Hermitage Artist Retreat, Wyoming’s Ucross Foundation, and LMCC Governor’s Island. Passionate about education, she has taught at inner city schools in New York, with El Sistema in Venezuela, and at institutions and in the field in Italy, Africa, and Mexico.

Paola Prestini’s music is released on VIA Records, Innova, and Tzadik Records; her writing is published in the Arcana series by Hips Road, and she is the editor of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composer handbook. A graduate of the Juilliard School, she studied under Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

SHORT

Named one of Musical America’s “Top 30 Musical Innovators 2016″ and one of the “Top 100 Composers in the World under 40” (NPR), Prestini’s music has been commissioned by and been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, BAM, and the Barbican Centre, among others. She is the Creative and Executive Director of National Sawdust, a nonprofit Brooklyn-based space for arts incubation and performance, and the “visionary-in-chief” (Time Out New York) of VisionIntoArt, the multimedia production company she co-founded in 1999.