composer and sound artist

KCET's Arbound covers SOUNDWALK Griffith Park

Philadelphia / Fairmount Park

NBC 10 “This Walk in the Park Is Full of Music.”
— Philly Live’s Aunyea Lachelle speaks to composer Ellen Reid


isomonstrosity is a pandemic symphony that incorporates elements of rap and avant-pop.

isomonstrosity features Danny Brown and 645AR, also Kacy Hill, Danny L Harle, Empress Of, Vic Mensa, Tommy Genesis and Zacari, as well as new compositions by new music composers Ellen Reid, Bryce Dessner, Marcos Balter, Nina C Young, Stephen Feigenbaum, Wang Lu, Carlos Simon. 
isomonstrosity is Ellen Reid, Johan Lenox and Yuga Cohler.

Ellen Reid commissioned by New York Philharmonic for 2019-2020 Season!

Photograph by Joelle Grace Taylor for The New Yorker
Photo credit: James Matthew Daniel
Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize

I am blown away and incredibly honored to receive this year’s Pulitzer Prize in music. Composing p r i s m was a challenging, rewarding and deeply personal experience, and I hope this opera will help shed light on the experience of surviving sexual assault. While Roxie and I did not plan for the timeliness of the subject matter, I am so grateful that it has resonated with audiences. 

A massive thank you to the collaborators who are central to this work: Roxie Perkins, Beth Morrison and everyone at BMP, James Darrah, Julian Wachner and the folks at Trinity Church Wall Street, Chris Bordenave,  Rebecca Jo Loeb, Anna Schubert, Tatiana Barber, Charbel Rohayem, Gigi Todisco, Christopher Koelsch & LA Opera, Daniela Candillari, PROTOTYPE, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Garth MacAleavey, Adam Rigg, Molly Irelan, Pablo Santiago, Eclipse Projects, Adam Lesser, Karen & Randy Reid.

Now I’m going to listen to some Aretha to celebrate!


— Ellen Reid

“Stunning... with Ellen Reid's incandescent ‘p r i s m,’
an opera composer is born.”

— LA Times (Mark Swed)

“a riveting new opera”

— I Care If You Listen (Catherine Womack)

“a fine line between poetic abstraction and gut-wrenching reality.”

— San Francisco Classical Voice (Jim Farber)


p r i s m   at LA Opera and PROTOTYPE

music by ellen reid
libretto by roxie perkins
directed by james darrah
conducted by julian wachner
produced by beth morrison projects

Oscillations | 100 Years and Forever

by Ellen Reid

Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Video Design: Hana S. Kim, Keith Skretch
Libretto: Sarah LaBrie
Lead Research: Sayd Randle
Musical Direction: Seth Houston
Vocal Soloists:
Kelci Hahn, Angelica Rowell, Jodie Landau, Joel Nesvadba
Percussion: Sidney Hopson

Dreams of the New World

World Premiere
Sunday, MAY 13, 2018 7:00 PM

at Walt Disney Concert Hall

libretto by Sarah LaBrie
lead research/dramaturgy by Sayd Randle
conducted by Grant Gershon
featuring LA Master Chorale and Wild Up

“Most memorably… you’ll see musicians stationed on every floor as they play through composer Ellen Reid’s booming commission.”

— Time Out Los Angeles

Thought Experiments in F# Minor with Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

original music by Ellen Reid
commissioned by the LA Philharmonic

Buster's Mal Heart

Original Music for Buster's Mal Heart starring Oscar Winning Actor Rami Malek

Ellen Reid is one of the most innovative artists of her generation. An American composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, avant-pop, ensemble and choral writing, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, p r i s m, in 2019. Reid's orchestral work has been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and the American Composers Orchestra, among others. Ellen Reid serves as the Contemporary Music Chair of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and she is currently the first composer to be in residence with both Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Concert Hall and Concertgebouw Orchestra simultaneously.

In 2020, Reid created Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, a GPS-enabled work of public art that reimagines urban parks as interactive soundscapes. SOUNDWALK premiered in New York's Central Park, and continues to expand to urban parkland around the world, including Los Angeles' Griffith Park, London's Regent's Park & Primrose Hill, and Tokyo's Ueno Park. A forthcoming album of music written for the project will be released this season, featuring performances by the Kronos Quartet, Shabaka Hutchings, and the New York Philharmonic.

Reid is known for her crackling, lyrical film scores, and has worked with A24, Amazon Studios, and the Duplass Brothers Productions. Her work has been featured at film festivals including SXSW, IFC Fest, OutFest, TriBeCa Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival. Her concert work was also the inspiration for artist Alex Prager’s short film RUN.

Reid recently released the album Isomonstrosity, an avant-pop collaboration with artists Johan Lenox and Yuga Cohler, The critically-acclaimed vocal chamber music album employed the modern production techniques and aesthetics of hip-hop, assembling contributions from a wide array of artists into a satisfying and varied final work.

Reid co-founded Luna Composition Lab in 2016 with composer Missy Mazzoli. The organization provides mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers ages 13-18, and is the only initiative of its kind in the United States.

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Ellen Reid’s p r i s m was the winner of the Music Critics Association of North America award for Best New Opera in 2019. Reid is a recipient of Lincoln Center's Emerging Artist Award, she has been one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year, and she is a Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program Grantee.

Born in Oak Ridge Tennesse in 1983, Ellen Reid received her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. She continues to live and and work in New York City and Los Angeles.


James Lemkin / Eclipse Projects


Ellen Reid’s music is exclusively published by Chester Music,
part of the Wise Music Group.

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Ellen Reid at work