Meet the Composer: Chris Lastovicka at Eastman

April 16, 2015

Lastovicka_piano

On Friday, April 17 at 3 p.m. in Eastman’s Ray Wright Room, Chris Lastovicka will reflect on her life as a composer and as a woman who is a member of the LBGT community. This conversation is supported by the Eastman Diversity Initiative and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies.

Lastovicka designs music dealing with primarily psychological and metaphysical subjects. Excerpts from her opera Crossing the Horizon were performed by the New York City Opera at its “Vox: Showcasing American Composers” festival. The opera became a finalist in Houston’s Opera Vista International Chamber Opera competition, where Houston Chronicle blog Heavy ARTillery remarked, Crossing the Horizon both thrills and entrances.”

Lastovicka began her compositional studies at age 15 with Samuel Adler (longtime chair of the Eastman composition department) at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. Chris graduated summa cum laude from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she was twice the winner of the composition competition. At age 14, she became the youngest winner in the history of Chicago’s Gruenstein Memorial National Organ Playing competition, and two years later she won Oberlin’s Otto B. Schoepfle National Organ competition.

The talk, entitled A Composer, Her Identity and Voice: a Frank Conversation with Chris Lastovicka, is a wonderful opportunity to speak with a successful musician and to reflect on our changing social climate. As many around the world are faced with discriminatory attitudes regarding their sexual and racial identities, it is a time to come together to explore these issues and confront them head on.

In addition to hearing Chris Lastovicka speak, you can hear her music that evening, when the Eastman Women’s Chorus performs her Ryan Songs under Philip Silvey. The choral concert takes place at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall.

Andrew Psarris ’15