Missy Mazzoli, principal guest composer

Instrumental Focus

  • composer

Programs Taught

  • Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies

Acclaimed in the highest terms by the New York Times, the New Yorker, and others, Missy Mazzoli’s music has been performed by Kronos Quartet, LA Opera, eighth blackbird, BBC Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Scottish Opera, and many others. The 2023–24 season included being featured composer at Winnipeg New Music Festival; BBC Total Immersion, by choreographer Rob Binet for London’s Royal Ballet; Breaking the Waves at Detroit Opera; Proving Up at Pittsburgh Opera. In 2018 she became, with Jeanine Tesori, one of the first women to receive a main stage commission from the Metropolitan Opera, and was nominated for a “Best Classical Composition” Grammy. She served as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2018–21, and from 2012–15 was composer-in-residence with Opera Philadelphia. Her 2018 opera, Proving Up, created with longtime collaborator librettist Royce Vavrek and based on a short story by Karen Russell, is a surreal commentary on the American dream. It was commissioned and premiered by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha, and Miller Theatre. Her 2016 opera, Breaking the Waves, was commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Beth Morrison Projects. Both operas received grand praise. Breaking the Waves has been performed at Edinburgh International Festival, Paris’s Opera Comique, LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the Adelaide Festival. Her most recent opera, The Listeners, (commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, Norwegian National Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera, created with Vavrek and Jordan Tannahill) is an original story set in our time about our search for community and meaning, and the power of charismatic leaders who exploit these desires. In 2016, Missy and composer Ellen Reid founded Luna Lab, a mentorship program for young female composers created in partnership with the Kaufman Music Center. Mazzoli is the recipient of Musical America’s 2022 Composer-of-the-Year award. Her music is published by G. Schirmer. missymazzoli.com