Meredith Monk is one of the most prolific artists of her generation. Her body of work extends across numerous media, and she has performed many roles throughout her career––including composer, singer, director, choreographer, and visual artist­. She has also pioneered fields such as interdisciplinary art and extended vocal technique.

Born in New York City in 1942, Monk graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1964. It was at this time that she began to execute her works at Judson Memorial Church in the more theatrical “second wave” of performers. Soon Monk opened up her SoHo loft for workshops and performances, and founded her own company, the House. Monk is the recipient of a MacArthur Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Grammy, two Villager Awards, three Obies, and two Bessie awards. Recently she received Musical America’s 2012 Composer of the Year award. Her breakthrough dance 16 Millimeter Earrings, 1966, and other pieces will be surveyed in “Meredith Monk: Pioneer Days” at Danspace in New York on November 19, 2012. In March 2013, she will premiere a new work, Realm Variations, which was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony. Monk is also developing a new music-theater piece, On Behalf of Nature, due to premiere in 2013.


Interview with Meredith Monk

— As told to John Arthur Peetz