The Hermitage Artist Retreat’s popular beachfront series continues with “The Making of a Musical” with composer and music director Rona Siddiqui, at 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and “Illuminating the Transcendent,” with composers Krists Auznieks and Robert Pound and poet Jason Schneiderman, at 5 p.m. Dec. 4.

The relaunch of our Hermitage programs has been received with such appreciation from our audiences,” notes Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg.

“Now that we’ve found a safe way to move forward with socially-distanced outdoor events — as audiences experienced recently on our beachfront campus as well as our recent event downtown at Selby Gardens — we are honored to continue this series with four more extraordinary artists-in-residence. These renowned Hermitage fellows provide members of our community with a unique look into the creative process, frequently debuting new works and inviting Hermitage audiences to be the first to experience their works-in-progress.”

Rona Siddiqui is an award-winning composer, lyricist, orchestrator and music director based in New York City. The recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant and Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, Siddiqui was named one of Broadway Women’s Fund’s “Women to Watch.” Her show, “Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan,” an autobiographical comedy about growing up bi-ethnic in America, had a reading at Playwrights Horizons. Other of her musicals include “One Good Day,” “The Tin” and “Treasure.” Siddiqui is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award and the ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus Scholarship. She has written pieces for “Wicked”-16th anniversary commemoration, 24 Hour Musicals, The Civilians, the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus and 52nd St Project, and has performed concerts of her work at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Feinstein’s/54 Below. Siddiqui has also orchestrated for Broadway Records, Broadway Backwards, NAMT and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. For more information, visit RonaSiddiqui.com.

The New York City-based Latvian composer Krists Auznieks has been praised for his “exhilarating, stunning and luminous” music (San Francisco Classical Voice) and possessing “astonishing complexity and beauty” (Broadway World). His quintet, “Piano,” was featured in The New York Times among the week’s best classical music moments. He is also a recipient of Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize and the youngest composer to ever receive the Latvian Grand Music Award for best composition of the year. Recent commissions include works for the Atlanta Symphony and Bang on A Can Marathon; choral pieces for Cappella Amsterdam and Latvian Radio Choir; a guitar concerto for Sinfonietta Riga and JiJi; works for the New York-based new music ensemble Unheard-Of; a multimedia work for Canadian soprano Meghan Lindsay and a piece for the Los Angeles-based Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. Auznieks’ music has been performed at prestigious concert halls and festivals around the world. He has served on the faculty of Yale School of Music as a lecturer of musicianship and analysis and has taught for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program.

Composer and conductor Robert Pound’s compositions include works for chamber, orchestra, band, vocal and choral groups and have been featured by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound and the Corigliano Quartet. Pound has served as guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and the June-in-Buffalo Festival. He is a professor of music at Dickinson College and director of the Dickinson Orchestra. For more information, visit RobertWPound.com.

Jason Schneiderman is the author of four books of poems “Hold Me Tight,” “Primary Source,” “Striking Surface” and “Sublimation Point.” He edited the anthology “Queer: A Reader for Writers.” Schneiderman’s poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, Poetry London, Grand Street and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet. He is an associate professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. For more information, visit JasonSchneiderman.net.


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