Joan La Barbara

Headshot of Composer/Vocalist Joan La Barbara


Composer/performer Joan La Barbara is renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques (her “signature sounds”: multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, glottal clicks), influencing generations of composers and singers. Awards and prizes include: Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award (2016); DAAD-Berlin Artist-in-Residency; Civitella Ranieri, Guggenheim and 7 NEA Fellowships; numerous commissions for chamber ensembles, theater, orchestra, chorus, interactive technology, soundscores for dance, video and film, including an electronic/vocal score for SESAME STREET and ARRIVAL. Her multi-layered textural compositions premiered at Festival d’Automne à Paris, Brisbane Biennial, Lincoln Center, MaerzMusik Berlin, Warsaw Autumn, and many other international venues. Exploring ways of immersing the audience in her music, La Barbara placed the American Composers Orchestra around and among the audience in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, building her sonic painting “in solitude this fear is lived”, inspired by Agnes Martin’s minimalist art. “Ears of an Eagle; Eyes of a Hawk: In the Vortex”, premieres February 10, 2020 in The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center (a New York Philharmonic commission for Project 19. Artist faculty member of NYU and Mannes/The New School.