Beth Anderson
Beth Anderson

Beth Anderson is a composer of new romantic music, text-sound works, and music theater events. She has composed and has had produced an opera, an oratorio, three off-off Broadway musicals, several downtown music theater collaborations, music for orchestra, voice, chorus, tape, instrumental solos with and without electronic modulation, and a large amount of chamber music, in this country and in Europe, on radio and in concert.

A resident of Brooklyn, Ms. Anderson runs Women’s Work, a concert series of women composers each March since 2004 in New York City.  She has taught at New York University, Mills College Preparatory, the N.Y.C. Public School System, Young Audiences, the New School for Social Research, D.C. 37, and the College of New Rochelle. Her articles have been published in Heresies Magazine, Paid My Dues, The Soho Weekly News, and in Ear Magazine, which she created/edited/published in New York City and edited/published in San Francisco.

Her publishers include Joshua Corp./E.M.I. and Antes/Bella Musica in Germany. Born in Kentucky, she studied primarily in California with John Cage, Terry Riley, Robert Ashley and Larry Austin, at Mills College and the University of California at Davis.  She currently teaches piano and recorder in her home and runs the St. John’s Recorder Ensemble in Park Slope.

Her early work was considered post-Cagian, non-academic but more recently the music became more lyrical while retaining the cut-up quality of the minimalists. Her all-Beth Anderson recordings are out on Albany (QUILT MUSIC), New World (SWALES & ANGELS), and Pogus (PEACHY KEEN-O)

  • Q: Who is your favorite composer of the past? What do you enjoy listening to, outside of your own work?

Gustav Mahler. World music, folk music, orchestral music.

  • Q: Would you name some any favorite poets or poems?

I set Ms. Johnson’s poem as part of my cycle HARLEM SONGS. I love poetry by Stephen Paul Miller, Jo Ann Krestan, Auden, David Mason, Dorothy Parker, Countee Cullen, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, and Gwendolyn Bennett, among many others.

  • Q: How are music and poetry connected?

Music and poetry are connected in time. They are wonderful apart as well as together. They can inspire one another. My favorite way to enjoy poetry is to hear it read and that makes it a kind of music, sound-poetry/text-sound. I make text-sound too.

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