Gotham Chamber Opera

Where opera gets intimate.

Gotham’s Composer-in-Residence: Lembit Beecher Since his appointment as the first Composer-in-Residence (CIR) one year ago, Lembit Beecher has been busy. If you search "Ikea Random Act of Culture" on YouTube, you’ll get a glimpse of his creativity -–and his intimate relationship with his sponsors: Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Music-Theatre Group. In collaboration with the three companies, Beecher divides his time between Philadelphia and New York and has experienced first hand the challenge of composing, staging, and performing opera. The residency, which lasts two more years, will provide him with the opportunity for additional personal and creative growth, combined with collaborations with his mentors and artistic directors.

Beecher, who has degrees from Harvard, Rice, and the University of Michigan, is specifically interested in the concepts of memory, storytelling, and the human relation to place and nature. While at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, Beecher combined these concepts in the multimedia, documentary oratorio And Then I Remember, which won the 2010 Opera Vista competition. He has also received awards from the American Music Center, ASCAP, Society for New Music, and the New York Youth Symphony.

The CIR is funded over five years by a generous $1.4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will provide individualized, professional, and creative development for promising opera composers, combined with a living stipend and health benefits. Beecher, excited about the opportunity, said, “This program is a composer’s dream come true. It will give me both freedom to experiment and practical experience that will be invaluable as I continue to develop my craft. I am humbled and excited by the opportunity.”




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