849 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Wednesday, December 4, and Thursday, December 5, 2019, at 6 p.m.
Reception to follow.

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning  Wednesday, November 6, at 9 a.m. 


Join us as the magnificent Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center is electrified by a flurry of music, dance, and video. In a three-part event, small groups will be guided through activated chambers of performance showcasing collaborations between choreographers and composers from the USC Kaufman School of Dance, the USC Thornton School of Music, and the internationally acclaimed chamber ensemble yMusic.

Audiences will be led through performances of works for stage, screen, and multimedia installation, culminating in the West Coast premiere of Andrew Norman’s newest work for yMusic, created specifically for the event and accompanied by original choreography.

Equally elegant and unkempt, ordered and disordered, formal and informal, “Activated Chambers” is a fusion of reactive artforms playing on and with each other as a new construction, a new compound—and a new movement.

The event will close with a post-show discussion led by Nadia Sirota, yMusic violist and host of the Peabody Award–winning podcast Meet the Composer, along with USC professors Jennifer McQuiston Lott, Dawn Stoppiello, and Rick Schmunk.

yMusic violist Nadia Sirota’s varied career spans solo performances, chamber music, curation, and broadcasting, with the singular aim of opening classical music up to a broader audience. She has served as a muse to dozens of composers, including Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, Missy Mazzoli, Daníel Bjarnason, Judd Greenstein, Marcos Balter, and David Lang, and won a 2015 Peabody Award, broadcasting’s highest honor, for her podcast Meet the Composer. In addition, Sirota has appeared with acclaimed orchestras around the world, served as the New York Philharmonic’s creative partner since 2018, and lent her sound to artists including The National, David Bowie, and Björk.

Andrew Norman is a Los Angeles–based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. Drawing on an eclectic mix of sounds and notational practices from both avant-garde and classical traditions, he is increasingly interested in exploring storytelling in music—specifically in the ways nonlinear media such as video games might intersect with traditional forms. Norman’s symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, and he has been championed by some of classical music’s eminent conductors, including John Adams, Marin Alsop, Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Rattle, and David Robertson. Norman joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2013, and is thrilled to serve as the new director of the LA Phil’s Composer Fellowship Program for high-school composers.

Jennifer McQuiston Lott, who joined the faculty of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in fall 2016, is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, filmmaker, director, advocate for the arts, and collaborator with musicians, filmmakers, and animators. Her choreographic works and short dance films have premiered at Baryshnikov Arts Center, National Sawdust, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Chen Dance Center’s newsteps, and the Thang Dao Contemporary Dance Festival, and she has created works for the Interlochen Center for Performing and Visual Arts, the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival, Gibney Dance Center, the Laguna Dance Festival, the Baldwin Wallace University Bach Festival, and the Rockford Dance Company. In 2012, Lott launched the Traverse City Dance Project, a seasonal company for professional dance artists that is celebrating its seventh season.

Dawn Stoppiello is the co-founder of Troika Ranch, a critically acclaimed performance ensemble that has been innovating and experimenting with computer technology in live performance since the late 1980s. Most recognized for 30 years of creating original live-media choreographic works in which dancers are interfaced with computers through sensory systems and move in synchrony with dozens of projected images, the conceptual artist has performed, taught, and lectured extensively throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Stoppiello held faculty positions at a number of institutions before becoming a full-time professor of practice at the USC Kaufman School of Dance in the fall of 2017.

Rick Schmunk teaches in the Music Production and Popular Music programs at the USC Thornton School of Music. His research interests include the integration of technology in music instruction and music performance. Schmunk has presented papers at the Association for Technology in Music Instruction, College Music Society, International Society for Music Education, Jazz Educators Network, and Technology for Music Education national and international conferences, and his recent Lynda.com publications include Ableton Live 10 Essentials, Up and Running with Ableton Analog, Up and Running with Ableton Operator, and Learning Music Notation.

yMusic are “six contemporary classical polymaths who playfully overstep the boundaries of musical genres,” according to The New Yorker. Founded in New York City in 2008, they perform in concert halls, arenas, and clubs around the world, presenting excellent, emotionally communicative music regardless of style or idiom. Their virtuosic execution and unique configuration (string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet) have attracted the attention of high-profile collaborators—from Paul Simon to Bill T. Jones to Ben Folds—and inspired original works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, and Andrew Norman. To date, yMusic has released three full-length solo albums, and has lent its distinctive sound to dozens more.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by Jennifer McQuiston Lott (Dance), Dawn Stoppiello (Dance), Andrew Norman (Music), and Rick Schmunk (Music).

Event Details

  • Theodora Williams
  • Shibing Tian

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