Joan La Barbara

Composer and vocalist Joan La Barbara is renowned for developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques that have influenced generations of other composers and singers. She received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award in 2016. She is the recipient of numerous commissions for multiple voices, chamber ensemble, orchestra, interactive technology, and dance and film sound-scores, including Sesame Street Signing Alphabet (voice with live electronics), broadcast worldwide since 1977, and collaborations with Jóhann Jóhannsson for the feature film score Arrival (2016). La Barbara’s multi-layered textural compositions have premiered at Brisbane Biennial, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Warsaw Autumn, and MaerzMusik Berlin, among other international venues. She is currently composing a new opera, Dreams of Water Beyond One’s Depth, inspired by the lives and work of Virginia Woolf and Joseph Cornell, and a new chamber ensemble commission from New York Philharmonic for Project 19, commemorating the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the US. La Barbara serves on the Artist Faculties of NYU and Mannes/The New School.