Theatrical Innovator Elizabeth LeCompte and Electronic Music Pioneer Morton Subotnick to Receive Honorary Degrees from CalArts
Valencia, CA, May 1, 2009--California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) today announced that it is conferring honorary Doctor of Arts degrees to director Elizabeth LeCompte and composer Morton Subotnick--two artists who have consistently represented the bold innovation and visionary creativity championed by the Institute, and who have each made extraordinary contributions to contemporary arts and culture.
CalArts President Steven D. Lavine will present the honorary degrees to LeCompte and Subotnick at the 2009 commencement ceremony, which takes place on the CalArts campus on Friday, May 15, beginning at 6 p.m.
Elizabeth LeCompte is a founding member and longtime artistic director of The Wooster Group. In a stellar career spanning more than 30 years, she and The Wooster Group have cultivated new forms and techniques of theatrical expression that have reflected, and responded to, a rapidly evolving culture, while at the same time sustaining a consistent ensemble and maintaining a flexible repertory. In a body of work characterized by radical juxtapositions of classic and modern texts and the combination of an eclectic range of materials and media, LeCompte's celebrated theatrical direction has shown the way for integrating live performance with evocative and technologically sophisticated uses of sound, lighting, video for the stage, and architectonic design.
LeCompte has received a MacArthur Fellowship, numerous Obie Awards, a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Distinguished Artist Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in American Theater, and France's highest arts award, the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. The Wooster Group's most recent work, La Didone, is receiving its West Coast premiere in June at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT).
Legendary composer and founding CalArts faculty member Morton Subotnick is one of the foremost pioneers in the development of electronic music and an innovator in the use of interactive computer music systems. Subotnick won early acclaim for his Silver Apples of the Moon, the first-ever major electronic composition commissioned expressly for the LP medium. His other innovations include the "ghost box," which allows for live electronic processing of instrumental performances. In addition to music in electronic media, Subotnick has written for symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, and theater and multimedia productions. As an educator, he has mentored numerous composers and multimedia artists, among them Ingram Marshall, Mark Coniglio and Lois V. Vierk.
Subotnick's many honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Composer Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States. He was the holder of the Mel Powell Chair at CalArts prior to his retirement in 2006.
California Institute of the Arts is recognized internationally as a leading laboratory for the visual, performing, media and literary arts. Housing six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater--CalArts educates professional artists in an intensive learning environment founded on artmaking excellence, creative experimentation, cross-pollination among diverse artistic disciplines, and a broad context of social and cultural understanding. CalArts also operates the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, which is housed in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.