MacArthur Fellows Program

Meredith Monk

Vocalist, Composer, and Theater Director | Class of 1995

Vocalist, Composer, and Theater Director
New York, New York
53 at time of award
Published July 1, 1995

About Meredith's Work

Meredith Monk is a composer, a vocalist, a filmmaker, a theatrical director, and a choreographer.

In 1968, Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to interdisciplinary performance, and, in 1978, she formed the Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble to perform her unique vocal compositions.  Her prodigious output includes films and video works, vocal recitals, movement duets, operas, and theater works.  In 1996, she performed in the San Francisco Symphony’s “Afternoon of American Musical Visionaries,” and was the subject of a retrospective entitled Meredith Monk: Archeology of an Artist at Lincoln Center’s Performing Arts Library.  Her installation, Art Performs Life was exhibited at the Walker Art Center and included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.


Monk has made sixteen recordings, including her 1996 compact disc, Monk and the Abbess: Music of Hildegard von Bingen and Meredith Monk, in which her work is juxtaposed with twelfth-century, liturgical chant.  Her other recordings include Book of Days (1990), Facing North (1992), Atlas (1993), Volcano Songs (1997) and Mercy (2002), among many others.  Recent commissioned works include the orchestral piece, Possible Sky (2003), and Stringsongs (2005).

Monk received a B.A. (1964) from Sarah Lawrence College.

Last updated January 1, 2006

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