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

“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

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

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

“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. A composer and sound artist whose breadth of work spans opera, sound design, film scoring, ensemble and choral writing, she recently became the first composer to have works premiered by Los Angeles’ four leading musical institutions — the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Los Angeles Master Chorale — all within one year.

This season, Ellen presented her first opera, p r i s m, which opened to universal acclaim in sold-out runs on both the east and west coasts, as a part of New York’s Prototype Festival and the LA Opera’s Off Grand series. Upcoming highlights include a new work for the New York Philharmonic, and a collaboration with Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller on a sound installation for the LA Phil’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. In the fall of 2019, Ellen begins a three-year appointment as Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Ellen was listed as one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year in 2016 for her work with Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program for young self-identified female, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers that she co-founded with composer Missy Mazzoli. She received her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. Ellen 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.

I was a composer on HOPSCOTCH with director and MacArthur fellow 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. Fear | Release was commissioned and recorded by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet on Sono Luminus and made NPR's top 10 classical music albums of 2016.

I've been an Artist in Residence at National Sawdust, University of California Irvine, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Opera Omaha.



James Lemkin / Eclipse Projects

Ellen Reid at work