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Team

MISSY MAZZOLI, Co-founder 
Recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (New York Times) and “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out NY), Missy Mazzoli has had her music performed by the Kronos Quartet, LA Opera, eighth blackbird, the BBC Symphony, Scottish Opera and many others. In 2018 she became one of the first two women, along with Jeanine Tesori, to receive a main stage commission from the Metropolitan Opera, and was nominated for a Grammy award. She is Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and from 2012-2015 was Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia. Upcoming commissions include works for Opera Philadelphia, Chicago Lyric Opera and the Norwegian National Opera. Missy teaches at the Mannes School of Music and her works are published by G. Schirmer. 

ELLEN REID, Co-founder 
Ellen Reid is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. A composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing, she was awarded the the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m. Reid is the first composer to have been commissioned by all of Los Angeles's four major classical music institutions: Los Angeles Opera at REDCAT, Los Angeles Philharmonic, L.A. Master Chorale and L.A. Chamber Orchestra. Ellen received her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. 

ALYSSA KAYSER-HIRSHProgram Manager 
Alyssa Kayser-Hirsh is a writer, educator, musician, and arts administrator based in New York City. She has been the Program Manager of Luna Composition Lab at Kaufman Music Center since 2018. Alyssa also works in Digital Content & Engagement at Carnegie Hall and manages the summer camp Sing This Summer. Her writing has appeared in I Care if You Listen, National Sawdust Log, and the Carnegie Hall online blog. She has experience in artistic organizations of all sizes, with a particular focus in project management, content development, and youth programs. Originally from Amherst, MA, Alyssa is a graduate of Wellesley College.

creative council

YAZ LANCASTER (2020-2022)
Yaz Lancaster (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist interested in practices aligned with relational aesthetics and the everyday, fragments and collage, and anti-oppression. They perform as a violinist, steel pannist, and vocalist in a wide variety of settings from DIY to orchestras, and they present work in many different mediums and collaborative projects. They’ve had the opportunity to work with friends/artists like Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, Apply Triangle, Hypercube, JACK Quartet, and Skiffle Steel Orchestra. Yaz holds degrees in violin performance and poetry from New York University. They love horror movies, chess, and bubble tea.

VASUDEVAN PANICKER (2020-2022)
Vasudevan Panicker is a musician who embarked upon building a career as a creative entrepreneur, but then dedicated nearly a decade to building and leading a unique contemporary music performance and composition program for teenagers: Face the Music at Kaufman Music Center. Under Vasu's leadership, Face the Music elevated its NYC public concert series to critical success, and expanded into unprecedented music education initiatives. Vasu now lives in Oakland, California, and is a full-time MBA candidate (Master of Business Administration) at the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, where he focuses on leveraging intelligent technology to synthesize connections across the for-profit and social-sectors. 

ALEX TEMPLE (2020-2022)
A sound can evoke a time, a place, or a way of looking at the world. Alex Temple writes music that distorts and combines iconic sounds to create new meanings, often in service of surreal, cryptic or fantastical narratives. In addition to performing her own works for voice and electronics, she has collaborated with performers and ensembles such as Mellissa Hughes, Julia Holter, wild Up, Spektral Quartet and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 she completed a DMA at Northwestern University, and she is now an Assistant Professor of Composition at Arizona State University.

SHELLEY WASHINGTON (2020-2022)
Composer Shelley Washington has emerged as an important and powerful voice of her generation. With an eclectic palette that draws from classical, jazz, rock, American folk and other contemporary musical spaces, Washington seeks to tell sonic stories that comment on current and past social narratives, both personal and observed. Her music explores emotions, intentions, and social injustices, incorporating intricate rhythms, grooves, melody, and harmony in hope of creating a public dialogue. Washington is a founding member of the composer collective Kinds of Kings, and performs with her band Good Looking Friends. She currently holds a fellowship from Princeton University and is on faculty at NYU Steinhardt.

ANDREW YEE (2020-2022)
GRAMMY Award winning cellist Andrew Yee has been praised by Michael Kennedy of the London Telegraph as “spellbindingly virtuosic”. Trained at the Juilliard School, they are a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet. In 2019 Andrew won the first prize at Oklahoma University’s National Arts Incubation Lab for their pitch of a wearable garment that translates sound into vibrations for the hard of hearing. They like to make stop-motion videos of food, draw apples, cook like an Italian Grandma and have developed coffee and cocktail programs for award-winning restaurants in New York City. Their solo project “Halfie” draws on their experience as a bi-racial and non-binary person in having access to multiple communities at once, while not feeling at home in any of them.