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Apr 5 2022

A Conversation with Jeanine Tesori

Jeanine Tesori (Photo Credit: Rodolfo Martinez)
The UCLA Robert U. Nelson Lecture Series, hosted by the Center for Musical Humanities, presents a conversation with Jeanine Tesori, composer of musical theater, opera, television and film. She won the Tony Award for Best Score (with bookwriter & lyricist, Lisa Kron) for the musical Fun Home. Her other musicals include Caroline, or Change (with Tony Kushner), Shrek the Musical (with David Lindsay-Abaire), Thoroughly Modern Millie (with Dick Scanlan), Violet (with Brian Crawley), Kimberly Akimbo (with Lindsay-Abaire) and Soft Power (with David Henry Hwang) which was her second work after Fun Home to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Along with Missy Mazzoli, she is one of the first women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. Her operas include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (Tony Kushner, libretto), Blue (Tazewell Thompson, libretto) which received the MCANA Award for Best New Opera, and the upcoming Grounded (George Brant, libretto). In addition to her work as a composer, Tesori is the Founding Artistic Director of New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center series, Supervising Vocal Producer of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, and lecturer in music at Yale University.

Joining her in conversation will be the Director and Program Director of UCLA’s Center for Musical Humanities, Raymond Knapp and Holley Replogle-Wong, to discuss her contributions to musical theater and opera, focusing especially on her career-long commitment to fostering musical representations and stories of traditionally underrepresented people on stage.

Join us at 3pm on our School of Music Livestream channel for a special performance by our students of some of the music of Jeanine Tesori, including selections from Caroline or Change, Violet, Fun Home, and Blue.

This program is made possible by the Joyce S. and Robert U. Nelson Fund. Robert Uriel Nelson was a revered musicologist and music professor at UCLA, who, together with his wife, established a generous endowment for the university to make programs like this possible.

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.