Press

Press Features

Six Trends in Arts and Culture for Funders to Watch
June 8, 2022
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Rocío Aranda-Alvarado and Lane Harwell, Guest Contributors

"Creatives are increasingly using digital tools and technology, not as accompaniments, but as central components of creative work, from the artificial intelligence opera Sensorium Ex to the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s Living Languages, an “augmented musicality” digital installation that will raise awareness of language diversity."

Press Play with Madeleine Brand: Composer Paola Prestini on experimentation, opera, the avant-garde
May 31, 2022
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Madeleine Brand

Paola Prestini is one of the most experimental composers today. She creates pieces that combine music with film, dance, and virtual reality. Her album “Houses of Zodiac: Poems for Cello” features music from a single cello, with several poets and dancers. It's a celebration of her favorite mediums and collaborators.

Scappucci, Elegance and Vigor for Beethoven
May 20, 2022
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Robert Lovino

At the opening, Scappucci presented the European premiere of “Barcarola” by the Italian composer (residing in the United States) Paola Prestini. Inspired by the homonymous text by Neruda, the score evokes the sounds of the sea and a storm...

The Winter Symphonic Season Ends with a Flourish at the Carlo Felice
May 20, 2022
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Stefano Ceniti

Listening to a world premiere is always fascinating…. over the course of fifteen minutes of music, the artist used sound to describe the profound emotion that emerges from the Chilean poet's text. Given the enthusiastic audience response, I would say she succeeded.

"Aging Magician" Is Ageless Opera Theater
May 18, 2022
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Helen Ofield

San Diego Opera's Detour Series presented an NY import for just two performances and thrilled the audience

San Diego Opera prepares, again, for West Coast premiere of pandemic-delayed ‘Aging Magician’
May 8, 2022
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Pam Kragen

It’s the whimsical, fantastical, time-twisting story of a dying clockmaker-repairman who plumbs his memories and dreams to imagine himself a wise magician who must pass on his treasured book of magical spells to a younger protégé before he passes.

Paola Prestini’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Finally Makes Its San Diego Debut
May 5, 2022
|
Ken Herman

This successful return of indoor opera has allowed General Director David Bennett to bring back Prestini’s Aging Magician, which will open at the Balboa Theatre on May 13.

NEW MUSIC TUESDAY | Composer Paola Prestini's "Ophelia"
October 19, 2021
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The piece was recently performed by Paola Prestini's husband and cellist, Jeffrey Zeigler, as part of the "Death of Classical" concert series taking place in New York City's catacombs

Embrace the Experiment (Cover Feature)
October 11, 2021
|

"Simply put, Houses of Zodiac is a trip, both in the colloquial sense and as a metaphor for travel and journeys, pretty much demanding one’s attention, and providing countless rewards to any listeners willing to give it a chance."

Interview: “Don’t think too much about the future, think about now”
August 12, 2021
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Hatchers

Our Hatchers Tongues content aims to inspire. We seek out creators from all disciplines to share their stories, pains, successes and learnings. This month we caught up with composer and co-founder of National Sawdust Paola Prestini.

Beth Morrison and National Sawdust Collaborate on a “21st-Century Liederabend”
June 22, 2021
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Michael Zwiebach

As we emerge from the pandemic, BMP and Prestini’s National Sawdust (the innovative new music center she co-founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) are upping the ante with 21c Liederabend, op. Worldwide (digital), which they’re staging as a broadcast-only event beginning on June 27 on The WNET Group’s All Arts television channel and streaming app.

‘Contemplations from National Sawdust’ Celebrates 5 Years of Artistic Innovation
June 14, 2021
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National Sawdust celebrates its bold, artistic spirit with “Contemplations from National Sawdust” — a six-episode retrospective on the Brooklyn-based music venue’s innovative addition to the New York City arts scene.

New Sounds #4470, Songs About Climate Change
March 11, 2021
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John Schaefer

Listen to work by New York composer Paola Prestini, in collaboration with climatologist Andrew Kruczkiewicz, who studies early warning systems for extreme events such as floods, storm surge from tropical cyclones, wildfires and landslides.

Magos Herrera captura 'Con Alma' los sonidos del confinamiento
January 16, 2021
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Fernando Cárdenas

La cantante mexicana, Magos Herrera, y la compositora, Paola Prestini, colaboraron de manera remota para producir su nuevo álbum: Con alma. A esta producción la definen como un cuadro operístico creado y grabado desde el confinamiento, que incluye sonidos y pensamientos de muchos participantes.

"Con Alma": An Interview With Magos Herrera & Paola Prestini
January 15, 2021
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Cristina Baccin

In this show, we share an interview conducted by Cristina Baccin with Grammy nominee, Magos Herrera, and composer Paola Prestini about their just released album “Con Alma” An operatic tableau on isolation (National Sawdust Tracks) which explores isolation and connection during this global confinement.

Q & A: Paola Prestini & Magos Herrera on Recording ‘Con Alma’
December 20, 2020
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Francisco Salazar

On Dec. 4, Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera released “Con Alma,” an album recorded remotely between March and October 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making Music In - And About - Pandemic Isolation
December 11, 2020
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Rebeca Ibarra

Most of us have experienced some sense of isolation during the pandemic, and that shared hardship inspired two New York based artists to create an album.

To create art about a pandemic, these musicians teamed up from afar
December 9, 2020
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Steven Melendez

Composer Paola Prestini, based in New York, and singer-songwriter Magos Herrera, currently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, created the album, titled Con Alma, while separated due to virus-related restrictions.

Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera create music, community in isolation
December 8, 2020
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Britt Stigler

When friends Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera came together to create the album “Con Alma,” the two composers closed the geographical gap between them by drawing on their 15-year-long friendship.

Stopping by with Paola Prestini
December 7, 2020
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Paola Prestini has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works that chart her interest in extra-musical themes ranging from the cosmos to the environment.

Paola Prestini on musical collaboration in isolation
November 26, 2020
|
John Rockwell

Ahead of the premiere of her new work Con Alma, Paola talks about the joy of exploring and combining styles. Pandemic or no pandemic, New York retains a remarkable cadre of composers...but chief among these is the singular figure of Paola Prestini.

Composer Paola Prestini believes in ‘connecting through music’
November 7, 2020
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Kyle MacMillan

Some composers hold full-time teaching posts. Others, like Thomas Adès or Esa-Pekka Salonen, maintain major conducting careers. But Paola Prestini offers a third model that seems very much of our time: along with being an award-winning composer, she has developed an equally significant career as an arts entrepreneur.

Paola Prestini And The Birth of Classical Music’s New Way Forward
September 30, 2020
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Dale Debakcsy

Her music is proof against anyone who says that classical music has nowhere left to go, nothing left to say, and nobody left to engage. She produces music which seamlessly mixes genres in support of the telling of stories that classical music has not traditionally given voice to.

What Does the 19th Amendment Mean to You? (Part 1)
August 18, 2020
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The 19th Amendment is the beginning of a conversation surrounding equity, something that we are still fighting for today. Over the past twenty years of my career, I’ve tried to be part of the progress in our field, and as a composer, I work to define my life as one that is composed of music, service, and action.

Paola featured in The Met Guild podcast 'Opera in the New Millennium'
August 3, 2020
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Fred Child

As part of Metropolitan Opera Guild's 'Opera in the New Millennium' podcast, Paola joined lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis and composers Missy Mazzoli and Kevin Puts to learn more about their work as contemporary opera composers from a live panel discussion originally recorded in 2017.

National Sawdust's Paola Prestini on the Process of building space and community
July 22, 2020
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Britt Stigler

As National Sawdust began construction to build its warehouse home in Williamsburg, it also embarked on establishing a community of artists and music lovers.

Artist As Leader: Paola Prestini
June 15, 2020
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Pier Carlo Talenti

While studying composition at the Juilliard School, Paola Prestini was eager to create the kind of boundary-blurring, collaborative pieces that didn’t have a place on the noted conservatory’s curriculum.

Paola Prestini Is Forming a Piece of the Solution
June 9, 2020
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Anna Heflin

How do artists work within the parameters of the pandemic and how can organizations support artists in this moment of crisis? These are the questions that composer and National Sawdust’s artistic director, Paola Prestini, is asking. Prestini joined Classical Post for an interview on May 19 to discuss.

Thrush Song: A Stunning Harmonic Tribute to Rachel Carson’s Courage by Composer Paola Prestini and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City
May 27, 2020
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Maria Popova

Paola reimagined “Thrush Song” as a wondrous harmonic serenade to Carson’s courage, working with a constellation of young women from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, rehearsing and performing remotely in a world stilled and stunned by a global pandemic — a poignant meta-testament to Carson’s legacy.

The Art Of Recovery: How Artists Are Grappling With The Covid-19 Pandemic
May 26, 2020
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Britt Stigler

When concerts, performances, shows and events ground to a halt this spring, the dust that arose enveloped the art world in uncertainty.

Video Premiere: “Birdsong” from Paola Prestini’s Sensorium Ex
May 14, 2020
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Today’s video premiere features Lucy Dhegrae and Jeffrey Zeigler performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress opera Sensorium Ex by composer Paola Prestini and librettist Brenda Shaughnessy.

San Diego Opera’s ‘Aging Magician’ a genre-hopping journey through transcendence
May 8, 2020
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Pam Kragen

a genre-hopping journey through transcendence

Opera News Spotlight Feature
March 1, 2020
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Oussama Zahr

Opera News profiles Paola around the premiere of Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera

Daring Multi-Media Composer’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Opens on San Diego Opera’s dētour Series
February 27, 2020
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Ken Herman

Daring Multi-Media Composer’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Opens on San Diego Opera’s dētour Series

Music Review: On Clara Schumann’s 200th, Lara Downes Plays the Schumanns and More on CD and in Concert
September 18, 2019
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Jon Sobel

Entitled ‘Holes in the Sky’ after a quote from Georgia O’Keeffe, the concert included music by Clara Schumann, Florence Price, Meredith Monk, Nina Simone, Paola Prestini, Joni Mitchell, and others. It proved a fitting celebration of the work – it’s now safe to say the tradition – of women composers.

Talking Mass and Wild Order with Visionary Composer Paola Prestini
September 6, 2019
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Trinity celebrates the release of six major recordings this year and reflects on a legacy of commissioning, premiering, and recording multiple new works that Trinity helped pioneer and develop, including Paola Prestini's Imaginary World of Wild Order: A Mass, excerpts of which will be featured at the season opener concert on September 12.

Banff Centre's Silent Light finds intimate beauty in the sounds of silence
July 6, 2019
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Stephan Bonfield

How does one direct so that the opera breathes with its own artistic life and not the life of a movie put onto stage? …The answers came from an at-once pellucid and oftentimes deeply emotional score by Paola Prestini, set to Vavrek’s bang-on minimalist libretto…

Applying Tech World Model to Music
July 1, 2019
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National Sawdust sets itself apart from other arts institutions through the unique way in which it supports artists and their projects.

The Philharmonic’s New Season: What Our Critics Want to Hear
February 5, 2019
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Michael Cooper

Joan La Barbara is the kind of gifted, veteran New York composer the Philharmonic has often declined to notice. She’s experimentally minded, certainly, but her works contain plenty of more traditional operatic melody, too.

On creating your own space and setting your own metrics for success
July 27, 2018
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I try and balance the different sides of myself with the projects that I choose. For me, Sawdust represents the activist side, the side that contributes to the community at large.

Ascoli, Buttafuoco e Paola Prestini chiudono la Milanesiana
July 25, 2018
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Valeria Eufemia

The Milanesiana adventure in Ascoli, a cultural and interdisciplinary festival conceived and directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi, will end tonight. At 11.30 today the exhibition 'Le Storie Natuali' by Luigi Serafini was inaugurated at Forte Malatesta, which was attended, in addition to the artist, by Vittorio Sgarbi and Stefano Papetti.

The imaginative composer behind the Williamsburg-based National Sawdust
June 29, 2018
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John Muller

When you enter the performance space of National Sawdust, you immediately understand why it’s described as an incubator of artistry. The abstract design gets your creative juices going.

Paola Prestini’s Multimedia Opera ‘Oceanic Verses’ Debuts
June 21, 2018
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A multimedia opera set in Southern Italy is due to premier at the Kennedy Center this month, written and composed by Paola Prestini. Titled “Oceanic Verses,” the concert and film project follows the stories of four characters as they explore the cultural and folkloric past of their Mediterranean setting.

Minnesota music scene finally amplifying women composers: 'It's past time'
March 10, 2018
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Jenna Ross

Dead white men still dominate classical music. Despite growing numbers of female composers, symphony orchestras and opera companies still announce seasons overflowing with Beethoven and Bach, Puccini and Bizet.

Hear How ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Became a New-Music Showcase
February 18, 2018
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Michael Cooper

At a moment when living composers — especially women — struggle to get their works performed, few would have predicted that a half-hour TV show would emerge as a key showcase for their work. But “Mozart in the Jungle,” the daffy Amazon comedy whose fourth season began streaming on Friday, has become an unlikely destination to hear new music.

A Day in the Life of a Composer and Arts Visionary
February 14, 2018
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Sarah Medford

PAOLA PRESTINI isn’t your typical music industry impresario. Beyond the fact that female impresarios are few and far between, she operates in an ecosphere that her fellow producers, talent scouts, fundraisers and promoters might not recognize.

In ‘The Hubble Cantata,’ opera blasts into the world of virtual reality
October 10, 2017
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Christopher Koelsch

‘The kind of experimentation Prestini has lent to her work will help “shape what masterpieces come out of the next 50 years.”

The top 35 female composers in classical music
August 4, 2017
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Anne Midgette

An ambitious entrepreneur, Prestini functions as both the mastermind behind large-scale performance projects and a kind of new-music activist, creating performance opportunities for a whole cadre of artists — most recently at National Sawdust, the factory-turned-performance-space she co-founded and runs in Brooklyn.

Paola Prestini–A Vision Into Art
April 11, 2017
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Tomasso Cartia

Composer of music, producer, mentor, and impresario–Paola Prestini is a brilliant talent of Italian origin. Founder of VisionIntoArt, an interdisciplinary art company, Prestini is also the Creative Director of National Sawdust, a non-profit venue with the mission of being a platform for contemporary artists to see their visions shine through.

Opera spotlight: Two of NYC’s most exciting composers debut new works this week
March 2, 2017
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Kurt Gottschalk

As the executive and creative director of National Sawdust, Paola Prestini is a name to know in New York new music, as she works to secure a home for innovative composition and performance in Williamsburg.

Nyack actor starring in new Off-Broadway show
February 23, 2017
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Steven P. Marsh

Just two weeks before he’s scheduled to step on a Manhattan stage to play the central character in a new musical play for which he also wrote the text, Rinde Eckert hasn’t been busy rehearsing — he’s been revising.

Composers Paola Prestini and Philip Glass Talk Collaboration, Opera, and Kickstarter
January 31, 2017
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Blake Abbie

Paola Prestini is on the search for the next Philip Glass. The composer has been hailed among the “Top 100 Composers Under 40” by NPR and is responsible for two artistic incubators. After graduating from Juilliard, Prestini found herself struggling to get commissions and find funding.

Exploring New Music’s Big Tent
January 3, 2017
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Allan Kozinn

There was a time, within relatively recent memory, when buyers of new-music albums had a good idea what kind of music they would hear – and not incidentally, what kind they would not hear.

MA 30 The Innovators: Paola Prestini
December 6, 2016
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Bruce Hodges

A composer whose interests encompass much more, Paola Prestini embodies the best kind of restlessness. In 1999, when she was a student in The Juilliard School, she founded VisionIntoArt, a collective that commissions and presents new works, focusing on collaborations with choreographers, visual artists, actors, and composers.

A Saturday Night at the Center of the Stars
August 5, 2016
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Andy Beta

It is often said that music can transport a listener. On Saturday night, “The Hubble Cantata” hopes to launch some 6,000 people from Prospect Park into the Orion Nebula, more than 1,000 light-years away.

‘The Hubble Cantata’ Is a VR-Tinged Operatic Tour of Outer Space
August 4, 2016
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Sophie Wiener

The annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn series of outdoor shows at Prospect Park doesn’t usually include opera, and it’s not usually associated with science, either.

The Cosmos Sings in This Fusion of Astrophysics and Music
July 28, 2016
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Danny Lewis

During the decades that the Hubble Space Telescope has orbited the Earth, it has produced some of the most sublime images of the cosmos that humanity has ever seen. Inspired by many of the iconic images produced by the Hubble throughout its career, composer Paola Prestini collaborated with astrophysicist Mario Livio to create The Hubble Cantata.

Cutting-Edge Concertos
February 9, 2016
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Allan Kozinn

Entrepreneurialism has become a byword among classical musicians lately, but few have mastered the art of founding a business upon creativity as deftly as the composer Paola Prestini. Ms. Prestini, 40, started VisionIntoArt, her multimedia production company, when she was still a student at the Juilliard School, in 1999.

The Exuberant “Epiphany: the Cycle of Life” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
January 16, 2016
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Nélida Nassar

In “Epiphany: the Cycle of Life” video artist Ali Hossaini, composer Paola Prestini, librettist Niloufar Talebi and choral master Francisco Nunez re-imagine the concert-going experience by employing interactive methods to explore the relationship between performers and observers

Globally Acclaimed Composer Paola Prestini Is Turning National Sawdust into an Incubator for the Music World
December 7, 2015
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Hope Wellington

Maybe you’ve heard about National Sawdust, the vast concert space that opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last month.

The 7 Emerging Artists You Should Know About, According to National Sawdust Creative Director Paola Prestini
December 7, 2015
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Hope Wellington

There’s something fitting about the fact that composer Paola Prestini made her first appearance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s vaunted Next Wave Festival the very same month that National Sawdust, the new arts institution that she directs, opened its doors with a pair of eclectic, sold out concerts.

ETHEL Celebrates Women Composers
December 3, 2015
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Sam Reising

Aria by Paola Prestini, one of the founders of National Sawdust, followed. The music is reflexive of the title. Slow moving counterpoint anchored by a simple motif permeated the quartet, and the quartet was, for the first time in the evening, given a chance to really sing.

Can This Start-up With Cellos Shake Up Classical Music’s Business-As-Usual?
September 9, 2015
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Justin Davidson

On a perfect summer night in 2012, the keening of a clarinet ricocheted off the century-old walls of a roofless sawdust factory and plumed out into the streets of Williamsburg.

National Sawdust Prepares for an Oct. 1 Opening
September 7, 2015
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Nate Chinen

Paola Prestini, the creative and executive director of National Sawdust, stood in the space’s balcony one recent afternoon, looking over what would soon be a bustling concert hall. “The speakers just came in,” she said cheerfully, pointing at a rig hanging from the ceiling, still in its filmy protective covering.

Music For Writers: Paola Prestini’s Songs From Another ‘Labyrinth’
May 14, 2015
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Porter Anderson

I wanted to write these two large-scale, deeply virtuosic pieces for these two muses, but I hadn’t had a chance to create a large-scale work like that yet.

Labyrinth Installation Concertos: Room No. 35
April 28, 2015
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Joseph Delaney

Classical music and technological innovation are seen by many as being, for the best part, mutually exclusive – something the Labyrinth Installation Concertos project, created by New York-based artist and composer Paola Prestini, aims to change.

LED Cello Lights Up The Stage
April 2, 2015
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Jean Kumagai

The cello, played well, is a soulful instrument. So human, so organic. The last thing you’d think a cello needs is high-tech enhancement. And yet, several years ago the visual artist Erika Harrsch began collaborating with cellist Maya Beiser and composer Paola Prestini on a new work.

Music For Writers: The Tidal Grace In Paola Prestini’s ‘Oceanic Verses’
December 18, 2014
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Porter Anderson

This idea of disparate energies colliding is very much a part of everything I do. I’m interested in energies and styles that don’t necessarily go together and weaving them into a tapestry that to me makes sense.

Paola Prestini by Helga Davis
December 10, 2014
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Helga Davis

Composer, visionary, and mentor Paola Prestini not only fills all of the aforementioned roles but is also founder of her own production company, VisionIntoArt (VIA), which provides opportunities to young composers as well as established performers in the new music world.

Paola Prestini: Following Her Vision
September 8, 2014
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Frank J. Oteri

Paola Prestini combines wild imagination and controlled practicality on an almost molecular level—it’s as if both are fused together in her DNA.

Paola Prestini's 'Visionary' Playlist Spans Anna Clyne to John Zorn
February 9, 2014
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It's been a busy season for composer Paola Prestini. She's the founder of VisionIntoArt, the interdisciplinary arts company behind the annual 21c Liederabend festival, the Colorado Project at MASS MoCA and dozens of multimedia collaborations including Prestini's own Oceanic Verses and music-theatre piece Aging Magician.

The Music of the Hubble Space Telescope
November 25, 2013
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Robinson Meyer

Above, there’s a shortened form from a new classical work, the improbably if appropriately named Hubble Cantata by Paola Prestini. The piece, which played on Saturday at the Brookyln Academy of Music’s celebration of "contemporary art song," celebrates the beauty of the space telescope’s imagery.

8 Strings, More Hands
July 10, 2013
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Steve Smith

Paola Prestini is probably best known as a composer, but her business card might more accurately read “human resources alchemist,” such is her gift for bringing together disparate artists, technicians and other creative professionals to produce cross-disciplinary works greater than the sum of their parts.

The Mediterranean Sea, Singing Along in Italy
June 27, 2012
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Allan Kozinn

Paola Prestini has been at work on "Oceanic Verses," a multimedia folk opera, since Carnegie Hall commissioned part of it for a composers' and singers' workshop in 2009.

Making Waves with a New 'Oceanic' Opera
June 25, 2012
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Lizzie Simon

Growing up in Naples, Mexico, and Tucson, Arizona, 36-year-old composer Paola Prestini was always conscious of borders and juxtaposed realities. "Bringing together disparate threads and making them equal–that's what drives me as an artist," she said.

Opera in Multiple Media
May 18, 2012
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Jeremy D. Goodwin

Paola Prestini is working on a new opera. So naturally, she's got plenty of film to edit. The forward-thinking new music composer has long been fascinated with the collaborative possibilities found in working with multiple media.

Ear to Ear: Paola Prestini
December 15, 2007
|

Through her interdisciplinary performance collective VisionIntoArt, Paola Prestini creates what TimeOut New York calls "ingeniously staged concert pieces that gracefully walk the line between opera and performance art." The Italian-born, New York-based composer joins David Garland for a conversation about her music and current projects.

“A stirring demonstration of love and respect for a composer’s output.”

Press Features

Press Features

Press Features

June 8, 2022
|
Rocío Aranda-Alvarado and Lane Harwell, Guest Contributors

"Creatives are increasingly using digital tools and technology, not as accompaniments, but as central components of creative work, from the artificial intelligence opera Sensorium Ex to the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s Living Languages, an “augmented musicality” digital installation that will raise awareness of language diversity."

May 31, 2022
|
Madeleine Brand

Paola Prestini is one of the most experimental composers today. She creates pieces that combine music with film, dance, and virtual reality. Her album “Houses of Zodiac: Poems for Cello” features music from a single cello, with several poets and dancers. It's a celebration of her favorite mediums and collaborators.

May 20, 2022
|
Robert Lovino

At the opening, Scappucci presented the European premiere of “Barcarola” by the Italian composer (residing in the United States) Paola Prestini. Inspired by the homonymous text by Neruda, the score evokes the sounds of the sea and a storm...

May 20, 2022
|
Stefano Ceniti

Listening to a world premiere is always fascinating…. over the course of fifteen minutes of music, the artist used sound to describe the profound emotion that emerges from the Chilean poet's text. Given the enthusiastic audience response, I would say she succeeded.

May 18, 2022
|
Helen Ofield

San Diego Opera's Detour Series presented an NY import for just two performances and thrilled the audience

May 8, 2022
|
Pam Kragen

It’s the whimsical, fantastical, time-twisting story of a dying clockmaker-repairman who plumbs his memories and dreams to imagine himself a wise magician who must pass on his treasured book of magical spells to a younger protégé before he passes.

May 5, 2022
|
Ken Herman

This successful return of indoor opera has allowed General Director David Bennett to bring back Prestini’s Aging Magician, which will open at the Balboa Theatre on May 13.

October 19, 2021
|

The piece was recently performed by Paola Prestini's husband and cellist, Jeffrey Zeigler, as part of the "Death of Classical" concert series taking place in New York City's catacombs

Feature
October 11, 2021
|

"Simply put, Houses of Zodiac is a trip, both in the colloquial sense and as a metaphor for travel and journeys, pretty much demanding one’s attention, and providing countless rewards to any listeners willing to give it a chance."

FEATURE
August 12, 2021
|
Hatchers

Our Hatchers Tongues content aims to inspire. We seek out creators from all disciplines to share their stories, pains, successes and learnings. This month we caught up with composer and co-founder of National Sawdust Paola Prestini.

FEATURE
June 22, 2021
|
Michael Zwiebach

As we emerge from the pandemic, BMP and Prestini’s National Sawdust (the innovative new music center she co-founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) are upping the ante with 21c Liederabend, op. Worldwide (digital), which they’re staging as a broadcast-only event beginning on June 27 on The WNET Group’s All Arts television channel and streaming app.

FEATURE
June 14, 2021
|

National Sawdust celebrates its bold, artistic spirit with “Contemplations from National Sawdust” — a six-episode retrospective on the Brooklyn-based music venue’s innovative addition to the New York City arts scene.

FEATURE
March 11, 2021
|
John Schaefer

Listen to work by New York composer Paola Prestini, in collaboration with climatologist Andrew Kruczkiewicz, who studies early warning systems for extreme events such as floods, storm surge from tropical cyclones, wildfires and landslides.

FEATURE
January 16, 2021
|
Fernando Cárdenas

La cantante mexicana, Magos Herrera, y la compositora, Paola Prestini, colaboraron de manera remota para producir su nuevo álbum: Con alma. A esta producción la definen como un cuadro operístico creado y grabado desde el confinamiento, que incluye sonidos y pensamientos de muchos participantes.

FEATURE
January 15, 2021
|
Cristina Baccin

In this show, we share an interview conducted by Cristina Baccin with Grammy nominee, Magos Herrera, and composer Paola Prestini about their just released album “Con Alma” An operatic tableau on isolation (National Sawdust Tracks) which explores isolation and connection during this global confinement.

FEATURE
December 20, 2020
|
Francisco Salazar

On Dec. 4, Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera released “Con Alma,” an album recorded remotely between March and October 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEATURE
December 11, 2020
|
Rebeca Ibarra

Most of us have experienced some sense of isolation during the pandemic, and that shared hardship inspired two New York based artists to create an album.

FEATURE
December 9, 2020
|
Steven Melendez

Composer Paola Prestini, based in New York, and singer-songwriter Magos Herrera, currently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, created the album, titled Con Alma, while separated due to virus-related restrictions.

FEATURE
December 8, 2020
|
Britt Stigler

When friends Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera came together to create the album “Con Alma,” the two composers closed the geographical gap between them by drawing on their 15-year-long friendship.

FEATURE
December 7, 2020
|

Paola Prestini has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works that chart her interest in extra-musical themes ranging from the cosmos to the environment.

FEATURE
November 26, 2020
|
John Rockwell

Ahead of the premiere of her new work Con Alma, Paola talks about the joy of exploring and combining styles. Pandemic or no pandemic, New York retains a remarkable cadre of composers...but chief among these is the singular figure of Paola Prestini.

FEATURE
November 7, 2020
|
Kyle MacMillan

Some composers hold full-time teaching posts. Others, like Thomas Adès or Esa-Pekka Salonen, maintain major conducting careers. But Paola Prestini offers a third model that seems very much of our time: along with being an award-winning composer, she has developed an equally significant career as an arts entrepreneur.

FEATURE
September 30, 2020
|
Dale Debakcsy

Her music is proof against anyone who says that classical music has nowhere left to go, nothing left to say, and nobody left to engage. She produces music which seamlessly mixes genres in support of the telling of stories that classical music has not traditionally given voice to.

FEATURE
August 18, 2020
|

The 19th Amendment is the beginning of a conversation surrounding equity, something that we are still fighting for today. Over the past twenty years of my career, I’ve tried to be part of the progress in our field, and as a composer, I work to define my life as one that is composed of music, service, and action.

FEATURE
August 3, 2020
|
Fred Child

As part of Metropolitan Opera Guild's 'Opera in the New Millennium' podcast, Paola joined lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis and composers Missy Mazzoli and Kevin Puts to learn more about their work as contemporary opera composers from a live panel discussion originally recorded in 2017.

FEATURE
July 22, 2020
|
Britt Stigler

As National Sawdust began construction to build its warehouse home in Williamsburg, it also embarked on establishing a community of artists and music lovers.

FEATURE
June 15, 2020
|
Pier Carlo Talenti

While studying composition at the Juilliard School, Paola Prestini was eager to create the kind of boundary-blurring, collaborative pieces that didn’t have a place on the noted conservatory’s curriculum.

FEATURE
June 9, 2020
|
Anna Heflin

How do artists work within the parameters of the pandemic and how can organizations support artists in this moment of crisis? These are the questions that composer and National Sawdust’s artistic director, Paola Prestini, is asking. Prestini joined Classical Post for an interview on May 19 to discuss.

FEATURE
May 27, 2020
|
Maria Popova

Paola reimagined “Thrush Song” as a wondrous harmonic serenade to Carson’s courage, working with a constellation of young women from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, rehearsing and performing remotely in a world stilled and stunned by a global pandemic — a poignant meta-testament to Carson’s legacy.

FEATURE
May 26, 2020
|
Britt Stigler

When concerts, performances, shows and events ground to a halt this spring, the dust that arose enveloped the art world in uncertainty.

FEATURE
May 14, 2020
|

Today’s video premiere features Lucy Dhegrae and Jeffrey Zeigler performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress opera Sensorium Ex by composer Paola Prestini and librettist Brenda Shaughnessy.

FEATURE
May 8, 2020
|
Pam Kragen

a genre-hopping journey through transcendence

Interview
March 1, 2020
|
Oussama Zahr

Opera News profiles Paola around the premiere of Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera

FEATURE
February 27, 2020
|
Ken Herman

Daring Multi-Media Composer’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Opens on San Diego Opera’s dētour Series

REVIEW
September 18, 2019
|
Jon Sobel

Entitled ‘Holes in the Sky’ after a quote from Georgia O’Keeffe, the concert included music by Clara Schumann, Florence Price, Meredith Monk, Nina Simone, Paola Prestini, Joni Mitchell, and others. It proved a fitting celebration of the work – it’s now safe to say the tradition – of women composers.

Feature
September 6, 2019
|

Trinity celebrates the release of six major recordings this year and reflects on a legacy of commissioning, premiering, and recording multiple new works that Trinity helped pioneer and develop, including Paola Prestini's Imaginary World of Wild Order: A Mass, excerpts of which will be featured at the season opener concert on September 12.

REVIEW
July 6, 2019
|
Stephan Bonfield

How does one direct so that the opera breathes with its own artistic life and not the life of a movie put onto stage? …The answers came from an at-once pellucid and oftentimes deeply emotional score by Paola Prestini, set to Vavrek’s bang-on minimalist libretto…

Feature
July 1, 2019
|

National Sawdust sets itself apart from other arts institutions through the unique way in which it supports artists and their projects.

Feature
February 5, 2019
|
Michael Cooper

Joan La Barbara is the kind of gifted, veteran New York composer the Philharmonic has often declined to notice. She’s experimentally minded, certainly, but her works contain plenty of more traditional operatic melody, too.

Feature
July 27, 2018
|

I try and balance the different sides of myself with the projects that I choose. For me, Sawdust represents the activist side, the side that contributes to the community at large.

Feature
July 25, 2018
|
Valeria Eufemia

The Milanesiana adventure in Ascoli, a cultural and interdisciplinary festival conceived and directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi, will end tonight. At 11.30 today the exhibition 'Le Storie Natuali' by Luigi Serafini was inaugurated at Forte Malatesta, which was attended, in addition to the artist, by Vittorio Sgarbi and Stefano Papetti.

Feature
June 29, 2018
|
John Muller

When you enter the performance space of National Sawdust, you immediately understand why it’s described as an incubator of artistry. The abstract design gets your creative juices going.

Feature
June 21, 2018
|

A multimedia opera set in Southern Italy is due to premier at the Kennedy Center this month, written and composed by Paola Prestini. Titled “Oceanic Verses,” the concert and film project follows the stories of four characters as they explore the cultural and folkloric past of their Mediterranean setting.

Feature
March 10, 2018
|
Jenna Ross

Dead white men still dominate classical music. Despite growing numbers of female composers, symphony orchestras and opera companies still announce seasons overflowing with Beethoven and Bach, Puccini and Bizet.

Feature
February 18, 2018
|
Michael Cooper

At a moment when living composers — especially women — struggle to get their works performed, few would have predicted that a half-hour TV show would emerge as a key showcase for their work. But “Mozart in the Jungle,” the daffy Amazon comedy whose fourth season began streaming on Friday, has become an unlikely destination to hear new music.

Feature
February 14, 2018
|
Sarah Medford

PAOLA PRESTINI isn’t your typical music industry impresario. Beyond the fact that female impresarios are few and far between, she operates in an ecosphere that her fellow producers, talent scouts, fundraisers and promoters might not recognize.

Feature
October 10, 2017
|
Christopher Koelsch

‘The kind of experimentation Prestini has lent to her work will help “shape what masterpieces come out of the next 50 years.”

Feature
August 4, 2017
|
Anne Midgette

An ambitious entrepreneur, Prestini functions as both the mastermind behind large-scale performance projects and a kind of new-music activist, creating performance opportunities for a whole cadre of artists — most recently at National Sawdust, the factory-turned-performance-space she co-founded and runs in Brooklyn.

Feature
April 11, 2017
|
Tomasso Cartia

Composer of music, producer, mentor, and impresario–Paola Prestini is a brilliant talent of Italian origin. Founder of VisionIntoArt, an interdisciplinary art company, Prestini is also the Creative Director of National Sawdust, a non-profit venue with the mission of being a platform for contemporary artists to see their visions shine through.

Feature
March 2, 2017
|
Kurt Gottschalk

As the executive and creative director of National Sawdust, Paola Prestini is a name to know in New York new music, as she works to secure a home for innovative composition and performance in Williamsburg.

Feature
February 23, 2017
|
Steven P. Marsh

Just two weeks before he’s scheduled to step on a Manhattan stage to play the central character in a new musical play for which he also wrote the text, Rinde Eckert hasn’t been busy rehearsing — he’s been revising.

Feature
January 31, 2017
|
Blake Abbie

Paola Prestini is on the search for the next Philip Glass. The composer has been hailed among the “Top 100 Composers Under 40” by NPR and is responsible for two artistic incubators. After graduating from Juilliard, Prestini found herself struggling to get commissions and find funding.

Feature
January 3, 2017
|
Allan Kozinn

There was a time, within relatively recent memory, when buyers of new-music albums had a good idea what kind of music they would hear – and not incidentally, what kind they would not hear.

Feature
December 6, 2016
|
Bruce Hodges

A composer whose interests encompass much more, Paola Prestini embodies the best kind of restlessness. In 1999, when she was a student in The Juilliard School, she founded VisionIntoArt, a collective that commissions and presents new works, focusing on collaborations with choreographers, visual artists, actors, and composers.

Feature
August 5, 2016
|
Andy Beta

It is often said that music can transport a listener. On Saturday night, “The Hubble Cantata” hopes to launch some 6,000 people from Prospect Park into the Orion Nebula, more than 1,000 light-years away.

Feature
August 4, 2016
|
Sophie Wiener

The annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn series of outdoor shows at Prospect Park doesn’t usually include opera, and it’s not usually associated with science, either.

Feature
July 28, 2016
|
Danny Lewis

During the decades that the Hubble Space Telescope has orbited the Earth, it has produced some of the most sublime images of the cosmos that humanity has ever seen. Inspired by many of the iconic images produced by the Hubble throughout its career, composer Paola Prestini collaborated with astrophysicist Mario Livio to create The Hubble Cantata.

Feature
February 9, 2016
|
Allan Kozinn

Entrepreneurialism has become a byword among classical musicians lately, but few have mastered the art of founding a business upon creativity as deftly as the composer Paola Prestini. Ms. Prestini, 40, started VisionIntoArt, her multimedia production company, when she was still a student at the Juilliard School, in 1999.

Feature
January 16, 2016
|
Nélida Nassar

In “Epiphany: the Cycle of Life” video artist Ali Hossaini, composer Paola Prestini, librettist Niloufar Talebi and choral master Francisco Nunez re-imagine the concert-going experience by employing interactive methods to explore the relationship between performers and observers

Feature
December 7, 2015
|
Hope Wellington

Maybe you’ve heard about National Sawdust, the vast concert space that opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last month.

Feature
December 7, 2015
|
Hope Wellington

There’s something fitting about the fact that composer Paola Prestini made her first appearance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s vaunted Next Wave Festival the very same month that National Sawdust, the new arts institution that she directs, opened its doors with a pair of eclectic, sold out concerts.

Feature
December 3, 2015
|
Sam Reising

Aria by Paola Prestini, one of the founders of National Sawdust, followed. The music is reflexive of the title. Slow moving counterpoint anchored by a simple motif permeated the quartet, and the quartet was, for the first time in the evening, given a chance to really sing.

Feature
September 9, 2015
|
Justin Davidson

On a perfect summer night in 2012, the keening of a clarinet ricocheted off the century-old walls of a roofless sawdust factory and plumed out into the streets of Williamsburg.

Feature
September 7, 2015
|
Nate Chinen

Paola Prestini, the creative and executive director of National Sawdust, stood in the space’s balcony one recent afternoon, looking over what would soon be a bustling concert hall. “The speakers just came in,” she said cheerfully, pointing at a rig hanging from the ceiling, still in its filmy protective covering.

Feature
May 14, 2015
|
Porter Anderson

I wanted to write these two large-scale, deeply virtuosic pieces for these two muses, but I hadn’t had a chance to create a large-scale work like that yet.

Feature
April 28, 2015
|
Joseph Delaney

Classical music and technological innovation are seen by many as being, for the best part, mutually exclusive – something the Labyrinth Installation Concertos project, created by New York-based artist and composer Paola Prestini, aims to change.

Feature
April 2, 2015
|
Jean Kumagai

The cello, played well, is a soulful instrument. So human, so organic. The last thing you’d think a cello needs is high-tech enhancement. And yet, several years ago the visual artist Erika Harrsch began collaborating with cellist Maya Beiser and composer Paola Prestini on a new work.

Feature
December 18, 2014
|
Porter Anderson

This idea of disparate energies colliding is very much a part of everything I do. I’m interested in energies and styles that don’t necessarily go together and weaving them into a tapestry that to me makes sense.

Feature
December 10, 2014
|
Helga Davis

Composer, visionary, and mentor Paola Prestini not only fills all of the aforementioned roles but is also founder of her own production company, VisionIntoArt (VIA), which provides opportunities to young composers as well as established performers in the new music world.

Feature
September 8, 2014
|
Frank J. Oteri

Paola Prestini combines wild imagination and controlled practicality on an almost molecular level—it’s as if both are fused together in her DNA.

Feature
February 9, 2014
|

It's been a busy season for composer Paola Prestini. She's the founder of VisionIntoArt, the interdisciplinary arts company behind the annual 21c Liederabend festival, the Colorado Project at MASS MoCA and dozens of multimedia collaborations including Prestini's own Oceanic Verses and music-theatre piece Aging Magician.

Feature
November 25, 2013
|
Robinson Meyer

Above, there’s a shortened form from a new classical work, the improbably if appropriately named Hubble Cantata by Paola Prestini. The piece, which played on Saturday at the Brookyln Academy of Music’s celebration of "contemporary art song," celebrates the beauty of the space telescope’s imagery.

Feature
July 10, 2013
|
Steve Smith

Paola Prestini is probably best known as a composer, but her business card might more accurately read “human resources alchemist,” such is her gift for bringing together disparate artists, technicians and other creative professionals to produce cross-disciplinary works greater than the sum of their parts.

Feature
June 27, 2012
|
Allan Kozinn

Paola Prestini has been at work on "Oceanic Verses," a multimedia folk opera, since Carnegie Hall commissioned part of it for a composers' and singers' workshop in 2009.

Feature
June 25, 2012
|
Lizzie Simon

Growing up in Naples, Mexico, and Tucson, Arizona, 36-year-old composer Paola Prestini was always conscious of borders and juxtaposed realities. "Bringing together disparate threads and making them equal–that's what drives me as an artist," she said.

Feature
May 18, 2012
|
Jeremy D. Goodwin

Paola Prestini is working on a new opera. So naturally, she's got plenty of film to edit. The forward-thinking new music composer has long been fascinated with the collaborative possibilities found in working with multiple media.

Feature
December 15, 2007
|

Through her interdisciplinary performance collective VisionIntoArt, Paola Prestini creates what TimeOut New York calls "ingeniously staged concert pieces that gracefully walk the line between opera and performance art." The Italian-born, New York-based composer joins David Garland for a conversation about her music and current projects.

NEWS & PRESS
|
June 21, 2022

Six Trends in Arts and Culture for Funders to Watch

"Creatives are increasingly using digital tools and technology, not as accompaniments, but as central components of creative work, from the artificial intelligence opera Sensorium Ex to the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s Living Languages, an “augmented musicality” digital installation that will raise awareness of language diversity."

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 6, 2022

Press Play with Madeleine Brand: Composer Paola Prestini on experimentation, opera, the avant-garde

Paola Prestini is one of the most experimental composers today. She creates pieces that combine music with film, dance, and virtual reality. Her album “Houses of Zodiac: Poems for Cello” features music from a single cello, with several poets and dancers. It's a celebration of her favorite mediums and collaborators.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
May 26, 2022

The Winter Symphonic Season Ends with a Flourish at the Carlo Felice

Listening to a world premiere is always fascinating…. over the course of fifteen minutes of music, the artist used sound to describe the profound emotion that emerges from the Chilean poet's text. Given the enthusiastic audience response, I would say she succeeded.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
May 26, 2022

Scappucci, Elegance and Vigor for Beethoven

At the opening, Scappucci presented the European premiere of “Barcarola” by the Italian composer (residing in the United States) Paola Prestini. Inspired by the homonymous text by Neruda, the score evokes the sounds of the sea and a storm...

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NEWS & PRESS
|
May 26, 2022

"Aging Magician" Is Ageless Opera Theater

San Diego Opera's Detour Series presented an NY import for just two performances and thrilled the audience

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
May 13, 2022

Paola Prestini’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Finally Makes Its San Diego Debut

This successful return of indoor opera has allowed General Director David Bennett to bring back Prestini’s Aging Magician, which will open at the Balboa Theatre on May 13.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
May 9, 2022

San Diego Opera prepares, again, for West Coast premiere of pandemic-delayed ‘Aging Magician’

It’s the whimsical, fantastical, time-twisting story of a dying clockmaker-repairman who plumbs his memories and dreams to imagine himself a wise magician who must pass on his treasured book of magical spells to a younger protégé before he passes.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
November 15, 2021

NEW MUSIC TUESDAY | Composer Paola Prestini's "Ophelia"

The piece was recently performed by Paola Prestini's husband and cellist, Jeffrey Zeigler, as part of the "Death of Classical" concert series taking place in New York City's catacombs

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
October 29, 2021

Embrace the Experiment (Cover Feature)

"Simply put, Houses of Zodiac is a trip, both in the colloquial sense and as a metaphor for travel and journeys, pretty much demanding one’s attention, and providing countless rewards to any listeners willing to give it a chance."

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
August 23, 2021

Thrush Song: A Stunning Harmonic Tribute to Rachel Carson’s Courage by Composer Paola Prestini and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City

Paola reimagined “Thrush Song” as a wondrous harmonic serenade to Carson’s courage, working with a constellation of young women from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, rehearsing and performing remotely in a world stilled and stunned by a global pandemic — a poignant meta-testament to Carson’s legacy.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
August 12, 2021

Interview: “Don’t think too much about the future, think about now”

Our Hatchers Tongues content aims to inspire. We seek out creators from all disciplines to share their stories, pains, successes and learnings. This month we caught up with composer and co-founder of National Sawdust Paola Prestini.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
June 24, 2021

‘Contemplations from National Sawdust’ Celebrates 5 Years of Artistic Innovation

National Sawdust celebrates its bold, artistic spirit with “Contemplations from National Sawdust” — a six-episode retrospective on the Brooklyn-based music venue’s innovative addition to the New York City arts scene.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
June 24, 2021

Beth Morrison and National Sawdust Collaborate on a “21st-Century Liederabend”

As we emerge from the pandemic, BMP and Prestini’s National Sawdust (the innovative new music center she co-founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) are upping the ante with 21c Liederabend, op. Worldwide (digital), which they’re staging as a broadcast-only event beginning on June 27 on The WNET Group’s All Arts television channel and streaming app.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
April 22, 2021

New Sounds #4470, Songs About Climate Change

Listen to work by New York composer Paola Prestini, in collaboration with climatologist Andrew Kruczkiewicz, who studies early warning systems for extreme events such as floods, storm surge from tropical cyclones, wildfires and landslides.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
January 26, 2021

Making Music In - And About - Pandemic Isolation

Most of us have experienced some sense of isolation during the pandemic, and that shared hardship inspired two New York based artists to create an album.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
January 26, 2021

Q & A: Paola Prestini & Magos Herrera on Recording ‘Con Alma’

On Dec. 4, Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera released “Con Alma,” an album recorded remotely between March and October 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
January 26, 2021

"Con Alma": An Interview With Magos Herrera & Paola Prestini

In this show, we share an interview conducted by Cristina Baccin with Grammy nominee, Magos Herrera, and composer Paola Prestini about their just released album “Con Alma” An operatic tableau on isolation (National Sawdust Tracks) which explores isolation and connection during this global confinement.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
January 25, 2021

To create art about a pandemic, these musicians teamed up from afar

Composer Paola Prestini, based in New York, and singer-songwriter Magos Herrera, currently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, created the album, titled Con Alma, while separated due to virus-related restrictions.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
January 20, 2021

Magos Herrera captura 'Con Alma' los sonidos del confinamiento

La cantante mexicana, Magos Herrera, y la compositora, Paola Prestini, colaboraron de manera remota para producir su nuevo álbum: Con alma. A esta producción la definen como un cuadro operístico creado y grabado desde el confinamiento, que incluye sonidos y pensamientos de muchos participantes.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
December 8, 2020

Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera create music, community in isolation

When friends Paola Prestini and Magos Herrera came together to create the album “Con Alma,” the two composers closed the geographical gap between them by drawing on their 15-year-long friendship.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
December 7, 2020

Composer Paola Prestini believes in ‘connecting through music’

Some composers hold full-time teaching posts. Others, like Thomas Adès or Esa-Pekka Salonen, maintain major conducting careers. But Paola Prestini offers a third model that seems very much of our time: along with being an award-winning composer, she has developed an equally significant career as an arts entrepreneur.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
December 7, 2020

Stopping by with Paola Prestini

Paola Prestini has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works that chart her interest in extra-musical themes ranging from the cosmos to the environment.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
November 27, 2020

Paola Prestini on musical collaboration in isolation

Ahead of the premiere of her new work Con Alma, Paola talks about the joy of exploring and combining styles. Pandemic or no pandemic, New York retains a remarkable cadre of composers...but chief among these is the singular figure of Paola Prestini.

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NEWS & PRESS
|
September 30, 2020

Paola Prestini And The Birth of Classical Music’s New Way Forward

Her music is proof against anyone who says that classical music has nowhere left to go, nothing left to say, and nobody left to engage. She produces music which seamlessly mixes genres in support of the telling of stories that classical music has not traditionally given voice to.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
August 18, 2020

What Does the 19th Amendment Mean to You? (Part 1)

The 19th Amendment is the beginning of a conversation surrounding equity, something that we are still fighting for today. Over the past twenty years of my career, I’ve tried to be part of the progress in our field, and as a composer, I work to define my life as one that is composed of music, service, and action.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
August 4, 2020

Paola featured in The Met Guild podcast 'Opera in the New Millennium'

As part of Metropolitan Opera Guild's 'Opera in the New Millennium' podcast, Paola joined lecturers Naomi Barrettara and Elspeth Davis and composers Missy Mazzoli and Kevin Puts to learn more about their work as contemporary opera composers from a live panel discussion originally recorded in 2017.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
July 27, 2020

National Sawdust's Paola Prestini on the Process of building space and community

As National Sawdust began construction to build its warehouse home in Williamsburg, it also embarked on establishing a community of artists and music lovers.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
July 9, 2020

Video Premiere: “Birdsong” from Paola Prestini’s Sensorium Ex

Today’s video premiere features Lucy Dhegrae and Jeffrey Zeigler performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress opera Sensorium Ex by composer Paola Prestini and librettist Brenda Shaughnessy.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
July 9, 2020

The Art Of Recovery: How Artists Are Grappling With The Covid-19 Pandemic

When concerts, performances, shows and events ground to a halt this spring, the dust that arose enveloped the art world in uncertainty.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
July 6, 2020

Paola Prestini Is Forming a Piece of the Solution

How do artists work within the parameters of the pandemic and how can organizations support artists in this moment of crisis? These are the questions that composer and National Sawdust’s artistic director, Paola Prestini, is asking. Prestini joined Classical Post for an interview on May 19 to discuss.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 15, 2020

Artist As Leader: Paola Prestini

While studying composition at the Juilliard School, Paola Prestini was eager to create the kind of boundary-blurring, collaborative pieces that didn’t have a place on the noted conservatory’s curriculum.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 11, 2020

The Mediterranean Sea, Singing Along in Italy

Paola Prestini has been at work on "Oceanic Verses," a multimedia folk opera, since Carnegie Hall commissioned part of it for a composers' and singers' workshop in 2009.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

The top 35 female composers in classical music

An ambitious entrepreneur, Prestini functions as both the mastermind behind large-scale performance projects and a kind of new-music activist, creating performance opportunities for a whole cadre of artists — most recently at National Sawdust, the factory-turned-performance-space she co-founded and runs in Brooklyn.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

In ‘The Hubble Cantata,’ opera blasts into the world of virtual reality

‘The kind of experimentation Prestini has lent to her work will help “shape what masterpieces come out of the next 50 years.”

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Hear How ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Became a New-Music Showcase

At a moment when living composers — especially women — struggle to get their works performed, few would have predicted that a half-hour TV show would emerge as a key showcase for their work. But “Mozart in the Jungle,” the daffy Amazon comedy whose fourth season began streaming on Friday, has become an unlikely destination to hear new music.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

A Day in the Life of a Composer and Arts Visionary

PAOLA PRESTINI isn’t your typical music industry impresario. Beyond the fact that female impresarios are few and far between, she operates in an ecosphere that her fellow producers, talent scouts, fundraisers and promoters might not recognize.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Minnesota music scene finally amplifying women composers: 'It's past time'

Dead white men still dominate classical music. Despite growing numbers of female composers, symphony orchestras and opera companies still announce seasons overflowing with Beethoven and Bach, Puccini and Bizet.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

The imaginative composer behind the Williamsburg-based National Sawdust

When you enter the performance space of National Sawdust, you immediately understand why it’s described as an incubator of artistry. The abstract design gets your creative juices going.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Ascoli, Buttafuoco e Paola Prestini chiudono la Milanesiana

The Milanesiana adventure in Ascoli, a cultural and interdisciplinary festival conceived and directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi, will end tonight. At 11.30 today the exhibition 'Le Storie Natuali' by Luigi Serafini was inaugurated at Forte Malatesta, which was attended, in addition to the artist, by Vittorio Sgarbi and Stefano Papetti.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

On creating your own space and setting your own metrics for success

I try and balance the different sides of myself with the projects that I choose. For me, Sawdust represents the activist side, the side that contributes to the community at large.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

The Philharmonic’s New Season: What Our Critics Want to Hear

Joan La Barbara is the kind of gifted, veteran New York composer the Philharmonic has often declined to notice. She’s experimentally minded, certainly, but her works contain plenty of more traditional operatic melody, too.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Applying Tech World Model to Music

National Sawdust sets itself apart from other arts institutions through the unique way in which it supports artists and their projects.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Talking Mass and Wild Order with Visionary Composer Paola Prestini

Trinity celebrates the release of six major recordings this year and reflects on a legacy of commissioning, premiering, and recording multiple new works that Trinity helped pioneer and develop, including Paola Prestini's Imaginary World of Wild Order: A Mass, excerpts of which will be featured at the season opener concert on September 12.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Paola Prestini–A Vision Into Art

Composer of music, producer, mentor, and impresario–Paola Prestini is a brilliant talent of Italian origin. Founder of VisionIntoArt, an interdisciplinary art company, Prestini is also the Creative Director of National Sawdust, a non-profit venue with the mission of being a platform for contemporary artists to see their visions shine through.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Opera spotlight: Two of NYC’s most exciting composers debut new works this week

As the executive and creative director of National Sawdust, Paola Prestini is a name to know in New York new music, as she works to secure a home for innovative composition and performance in Williamsburg.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Nyack actor starring in new Off-Broadway show

Just two weeks before he’s scheduled to step on a Manhattan stage to play the central character in a new musical play for which he also wrote the text, Rinde Eckert hasn’t been busy rehearsing — he’s been revising.

read more
NEWS & PRESS
|
June 3, 2020

Composers Paola Prestini and Philip Glass Talk Collaboration, Opera, and Kickstarter

Paola Prestini is on the search for the next Philip Glass. The composer has been hailed among the “Top 100 Composers Under 40” by NPR and is responsible for two artistic incubators. After graduating from Juilliard, Prestini found herself struggling to get commissions and find funding.

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June 3, 2020

Exploring New Music’s Big Tent

There was a time, within relatively recent memory, when buyers of new-music albums had a good idea what kind of music they would hear – and not incidentally, what kind they would not hear.

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June 3, 2020

MA 30 The Innovators: Paola Prestini

A composer whose interests encompass much more, Paola Prestini embodies the best kind of restlessness. In 1999, when she was a student in The Juilliard School, she founded VisionIntoArt, a collective that commissions and presents new works, focusing on collaborations with choreographers, visual artists, actors, and composers.

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June 3, 2020

A Saturday Night at the Center of the Stars

It is often said that music can transport a listener. On Saturday night, “The Hubble Cantata” hopes to launch some 6,000 people from Prospect Park into the Orion Nebula, more than 1,000 light-years away.

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June 3, 2020

‘The Hubble Cantata’ Is a VR-Tinged Operatic Tour of Outer Space

The annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn series of outdoor shows at Prospect Park doesn’t usually include opera, and it’s not usually associated with science, either.

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June 3, 2020

The Cosmos Sings in This Fusion of Astrophysics and Music

During the decades that the Hubble Space Telescope has orbited the Earth, it has produced some of the most sublime images of the cosmos that humanity has ever seen. Inspired by many of the iconic images produced by the Hubble throughout its career, composer Paola Prestini collaborated with astrophysicist Mario Livio to create The Hubble Cantata.

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June 3, 2020

Cutting-Edge Concertos

Entrepreneurialism has become a byword among classical musicians lately, but few have mastered the art of founding a business upon creativity as deftly as the composer Paola Prestini. Ms. Prestini, 40, started VisionIntoArt, her multimedia production company, when she was still a student at the Juilliard School, in 1999.

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June 3, 2020

The Exuberant “Epiphany: the Cycle of Life” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

In “Epiphany: the Cycle of Life” video artist Ali Hossaini, composer Paola Prestini, librettist Niloufar Talebi and choral master Francisco Nunez re-imagine the concert-going experience by employing interactive methods to explore the relationship between performers and observers

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June 3, 2020

The 7 Emerging Artists You Should Know About, According to National Sawdust Creative Director Paola Prestini

There’s something fitting about the fact that composer Paola Prestini made her first appearance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s vaunted Next Wave Festival the very same month that National Sawdust, the new arts institution that she directs, opened its doors with a pair of eclectic, sold out concerts.

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June 3, 2020

Globally Acclaimed Composer Paola Prestini Is Turning National Sawdust into an Incubator for the Music World

Maybe you’ve heard about National Sawdust, the vast concert space that opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last month.

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June 3, 2020

ETHEL Celebrates Women Composers

Aria by Paola Prestini, one of the founders of National Sawdust, followed. The music is reflexive of the title. Slow moving counterpoint anchored by a simple motif permeated the quartet, and the quartet was, for the first time in the evening, given a chance to really sing.

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June 3, 2020

National Sawdust Prepares for an Oct. 1 Opening

Paola Prestini, the creative and executive director of National Sawdust, stood in the space’s balcony one recent afternoon, looking over what would soon be a bustling concert hall. “The speakers just came in,” she said cheerfully, pointing at a rig hanging from the ceiling, still in its filmy protective covering.

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June 3, 2020

Can This Start-up With Cellos Shake Up Classical Music’s Business-As-Usual?

On a perfect summer night in 2012, the keening of a clarinet ricocheted off the century-old walls of a roofless sawdust factory and plumed out into the streets of Williamsburg.

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June 3, 2020

Music For Writers: Paola Prestini’s Songs From Another ‘Labyrinth’

I wanted to write these two large-scale, deeply virtuosic pieces for these two muses, but I hadn’t had a chance to create a large-scale work like that yet.

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June 3, 2020

Labyrinth Installation Concertos: Room No. 35

Classical music and technological innovation are seen by many as being, for the best part, mutually exclusive – something the Labyrinth Installation Concertos project, created by New York-based artist and composer Paola Prestini, aims to change.

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June 3, 2020

LED Cello Lights Up The Stage

The cello, played well, is a soulful instrument. So human, so organic. The last thing you’d think a cello needs is high-tech enhancement. And yet, several years ago the visual artist Erika Harrsch began collaborating with cellist Maya Beiser and composer Paola Prestini on a new work.

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June 3, 2020

Paola Prestini by Helga Davis

Composer, visionary, and mentor Paola Prestini not only fills all of the aforementioned roles but is also founder of her own production company, VisionIntoArt (VIA), which provides opportunities to young composers as well as established performers in the new music world.

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June 3, 2020

Music For Writers: The Tidal Grace In Paola Prestini’s ‘Oceanic Verses’

This idea of disparate energies colliding is very much a part of everything I do. I’m interested in energies and styles that don’t necessarily go together and weaving them into a tapestry that to me makes sense.

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June 3, 2020

Paola Prestini: Following Her Vision

Paola Prestini combines wild imagination and controlled practicality on an almost molecular level—it’s as if both are fused together in her DNA.

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June 3, 2020

Paola Prestini's 'Visionary' Playlist Spans Anna Clyne to John Zorn

It's been a busy season for composer Paola Prestini. She's the founder of VisionIntoArt, the interdisciplinary arts company behind the annual 21c Liederabend festival, the Colorado Project at MASS MoCA and dozens of multimedia collaborations including Prestini's own Oceanic Verses and music-theatre piece Aging Magician.

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June 3, 2020

The Music of the Hubble Space Telescope

Above, there’s a shortened form from a new classical work, the improbably if appropriately named Hubble Cantata by Paola Prestini. The piece, which played on Saturday at the Brookyln Academy of Music’s celebration of "contemporary art song," celebrates the beauty of the space telescope’s imagery.

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June 3, 2020

8 Strings, More Hands

Paola Prestini is probably best known as a composer, but her business card might more accurately read “human resources alchemist,” such is her gift for bringing together disparate artists, technicians and other creative professionals to produce cross-disciplinary works greater than the sum of their parts.

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June 3, 2020

Banff Centre's Silent Light finds intimate beauty in the sounds of silence

How does one direct so that the opera breathes with its own artistic life and not the life of a movie put onto stage? …The answers came from an at-once pellucid and oftentimes deeply emotional score by Paola Prestini, set to Vavrek’s bang-on minimalist libretto…

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June 3, 2020

Music Review: On Clara Schumann’s 200th, Lara Downes Plays the Schumanns and More on CD and in Concert

Entitled ‘Holes in the Sky’ after a quote from Georgia O’Keeffe, the concert included music by Clara Schumann, Florence Price, Meredith Monk, Nina Simone, Paola Prestini, Joni Mitchell, and others. It proved a fitting celebration of the work – it’s now safe to say the tradition – of women composers.

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June 2, 2020

Daring Multi-Media Composer’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Opens on San Diego Opera’s dētour Series

Daring Multi-Media Composer’s Opera ‘Aging Magician’ Opens on San Diego Opera’s dētour Series

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June 2, 2020

San Diego Opera’s ‘Aging Magician’ a genre-hopping journey through transcendence

a genre-hopping journey through transcendence

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November 19, 2018

Opera News Spotlight Feature

Opera News profiles Paola around the premiere of Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera

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November 19, 2018

Making Waves with a New 'Oceanic' Opera

Growing up in Naples, Mexico, and Tucson, Arizona, 36-year-old composer Paola Prestini was always conscious of borders and juxtaposed realities. "Bringing together disparate threads and making them equal–that's what drives me as an artist," she said.

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November 19, 2018

Paola Prestini’s Multimedia Opera ‘Oceanic Verses’ Debuts

A multimedia opera set in Southern Italy is due to premier at the Kennedy Center this month, written and composed by Paola Prestini. Titled “Oceanic Verses,” the concert and film project follows the stories of four characters as they explore the cultural and folkloric past of their Mediterranean setting.

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November 19, 2018

Ear to Ear: Paola Prestini

Through her interdisciplinary performance collective VisionIntoArt, Paola Prestini creates what TimeOut New York calls "ingeniously staged concert pieces that gracefully walk the line between opera and performance art." The Italian-born, New York-based composer joins David Garland for a conversation about her music and current projects.

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November 19, 2018

Opera in Multiple Media

Paola Prestini is working on a new opera. So naturally, she's got plenty of film to edit. The forward-thinking new music composer has long been fascinated with the collaborative possibilities found in working with multiple media.

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