Italian born composer PAOLA PRESTINI is the director and co-founder of the award-winning interdisciplinary performing collective, VisionIntoArt (VIA). VIA has performed in theaters, museums, and clubs all over the world and specializes in creating collaborations that stem from new music. Her works and arrangements have been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Concert Artist Guild, the Kronos Quartet, and VisionIntoArt, and have been performed by groups such as the Kronos Quartet, the Tucson Symphony, the Haydn Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra’s (ACO) for the Whitaker Reading Sessions, the Aleph Ensemble, the Verge Ensemble, and the Prism Quartet, in venues such as Zankel Hall, Weill Hall, the Whitney Live series, BAM Café, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, Performance Space 122, the Krannert Center, and Royce Hall/UCLA. She has participated in international performances and festivals such as EtnaFest in Sicily, Concerti Apertivi in Milan, and the new music festival BEMUS in Belgrade, Serbia.
Other activities include curating at the Stone (John Zorn’s avant-garde new music space in NYC), an article on collaboration for Arcana III: Musicians on Music, articles for publications such as New Music Box, and leading professional development sessions for the NYS Alliance on the Arts. Her music is released on Tzadik records. She has been the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, the American Society for Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Music Center, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Ms. Prestini has taught and created curricula for the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, and the American Symphony Orchestra League, and is an advocate for music education in schools. She directs a music initiative through VIA that reaches inner-city high school students through instrument lessons and music technology. The program is housed at Brandeis High School in Manhattan and is a VisionIntoArt education program in partnership with the American Composers Orchestra. She is also the Associate Director of the prestigious Making Score program of the New York Youth Symphony.
Ms. Prestini has written music and directed all VIA’s performances in festivals such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music Planet XX festival, and the Whitney Museum Resonant Spaces festival. She has been included in ASCAP’s Thru the Walls series at the Cutting Room and has been featured in composition residencies at Dickinson College with the Corigliano String Quartet, North Carolina School of the Arts, and at UCLA. She has written for film and theater extensively, and has been a featured film composer and conductor on CNN for the ASCAP film Composers workshop. Her film collaborations have made the New York Times Critic’s Pick, and have won first prize and made official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival, among others. She most recently scored the short film, “Without” for the Kronos Quartet.
Recent prizes and commissions include grants from the American Music Center, an Individual Artist grant from NYSCA, a residency at the Ucross Foundation, an ASCAP Morton Gould Composers Award, and a commissioned dance score for St. Marks Danspace Repertory season. Her music has also been performed by the New York Concert Singers, the Juilliard Orchestra after winning the Juilliard Composers Competition, and by members of the NY Philharmonic, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Ms. Prestini received her BM and MM at the Juilliard School and has studied with Samuel Adler, Robert Beaser, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
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