Sunday, January 23, 2022, 8 pm
Joan La Barbara

Performance by Joan La Barbara (singer and composer, New York)


Joan La Barbara has been exploring the human voice as a versatile instrument since the 1970s as a composer, performer, and sound artist, using experimental vocal techniques to expand the traditional boundaries of singing. Early on she used techniques from live electronics. She has been celebrated as a virtuoso in the field of contemporary music, and had works by composers such as John Cage and Morton Feldman dedicated to her. In her exploration of the work of Tomas Schmit, whose artistic practice was significantly influenced by New Music, La Barbara presents select avant-garde pieces as well as her own compositions.



Joan La Barbara (*1947 in Philadelphia) lives and works in New York, where she is an instructor at Mannes School of Music, The New School. She received classical vocal training at Syracuse University (1965–1968) and New York University (1968–1970). In 1971 she came into contact with the avant-garde movement as a member of the Steve Reich and Musicians ensemble. Her compositions have been performed at international festivals and renowned concert halls, including Performa 13, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); MaerzMusik, Berlin (2012); Carnegie Hall, New York (2011). She has received numerous awards, including the John Cage Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Halberstadt (2016).