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

Untitled, 2007
© Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian.

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

Ellen Reid is a composer and sound artist whose work “brims with canny invention” (LA Weekly). Reid’s work is largely collaborative and takes the form of opera, chamber music, electronic pop songs, immersive interactive media, and scores for film and theater. Reid’s work has been hailed as “ineffably moving” by Mark Swed of the LA Times, “radiant” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker, and it’s been said that her vocal writing would “make you believe that the mythical sirens really existed” (KCRW). Her upcoming projects include a 40-minute work for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Prism with Beth Morrison Projects, Roxie Perkins and James Darrah, a new commission for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Death of a Salesman at BAM with Theater Mitu, a solo cello piece for Johannes Moser, The Colony with filmmaker Sarah Adina Smith, a commission from Opera America, and Fantomas with Travis Preston. This year she and Missy Mazzoli co-founded Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program directed at young self-identified female and gender non-conforming composers, in partnership with Face The Music. Ellen received her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. She splits her time between her two favorite cities – Los Angeles and New York.



I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – a small town in East Tennessee that was created as part of the Manhattan Project. I never dreamt that writing music could be a viable career path, but I started composing my sophomore year of college and haven’t stopped since. As a kid, I casually sang in choir, played piano and percussion. As an undergrad at Columbia University I was exposed to the kaleidoscopic sound world that is New York City. Within weeks I saw an installation of amplified lightbulbs at The Stone, a concert of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Carnegie Hall that gave me synethsesia and heard my first Indian Raga. These experiences expanded my understanding of what music could be, and created an insatiable love of sound that has taken me all over the globe.

In Thailand, I lived and collaborated with Thai artists for several years. We created pieces for the United Nations and the Patravadi Theater. My site-specific installation Lonely Traveler was featured in the 2011 Ruhrtriennale in Essen Germany, and She Gone Rogue (dir Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker) was featured in the 2012 Hammer Biennial (LA) and 2014 Whitney Biennial. I traveled with members of wild Up and Jodie Landau to Reykjavik, Iceland to create You of All Things with the Bedroom Community.

This past season, I was a composer on HOPSCOTCH with director Yuval Sharon. My work for HOPSCOTCH was hailed as “ineffably moving” by Mark Swed of the LA Times and “radiant” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker.  My percussion piece Fear | Release was commissioned and recorded by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and will be released on Sono Luminus in 2016.

This season, I am an Artist in Residence at National Sawdust, where I will get to collaborate with wild Up, Jodie Landau, Royce Vavrek, Beth Morrison Projects and Vision Into Art.  My percussion piece for LAPQ will be included on LA Phil's Noon to Midnight day of new music. My music in Buster's Mal Heart will be heard at the Toronto Film Festival.

My upcoming projects include The Colony with Sarah Adina Smith, dreams of the new world with Los Angeles Master Chorale and a commission for LACO commission.


In Development

My upcoming projects include:

dreams of the new world

with Los Angeles Master Chorale


with LA Opera

LA Phil Commission

Ellen Reid at work

Press Contact

Sarah Baird Knight, Calliope PR