Tony Winner Jason Robert Brown Will Be Blodgett Artist-in-Residence at Harvard
The Harvard Department of Music and the Office for the Arts at Harvard have announced the appointment of Jason Robert Brown as Blodgett Artist-in-Residence during the spring of 2014. A celebrated American composer, Brown has been hailed as "one of Broadway's smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim" (Philadelphia Inquirer). He is known best as the award-winning composer and lyricist of the musical The Last 5 Years, and the Tony-award winning composer of Parade.
As an artist-in-residence at Harvard, Brown will participate in Professor Carol Oja's seminar, "American Musical Theater," as well as give master classes and workshops for Harvard students though the Office for the Arts Learning From Performers program. In addition, Brown's music will be showcased in a concert/cabaret performance at the American Repertory Theater's Oberon theater on March 31, 2014.
The Last 5 Years was cited as one of Time Magazine's 10 Best of 2001 and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics, and has been adapted for the screen by Brown and director Richard La Gravanese. Brown won a 1999 Tony Award for his score to Parade, a musical written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, which subsequently won both the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best New Musical. Brown is the winner of the 2002 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics and the 1996 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award for Musical Theatre.
Additionally, Brown was conductor and orchestrator for Yoko Ono's musical, New York Rock, at the WPA Theatre (on Capitol Records), and he orchestrated Andrew Lippa's john and jen, Off-Broadway at Lamb's Theatre. He has conducted and created arrangements and orchestrations for Liza Minnelli, John Pizzarelli, Tovah Feldshuh, and Laurie Beechman, and his songs, including the cabaret standard "Stars and the Moon," have been performed and recorded by Audra McDonald, Betty Buckley, Karen Akers, Renée Fleming, Philip Quast, Jon Hendricks, and many others. Brown's new Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County, with a book by Marsha Norman based on Robert James Waller's novel, opens next January, directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Kelli O'Hara.
The Blodgett Artist-in-Residence program of the Department of Music is made possible through a gift from Mr. and Mrs. John W. Blodgett, Jr. The program provides for visiting artists to lecture and perform in a variety of musical disciplines. Recent appointments have been Koo Nimo (Ghanaian music), Sir Harrison Birtwistle (composer), Neba Solo (Malian balafon musician), and jazz pioneer Geri Allen.
The Learning From Performers program of the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) brings to Harvard professional artists in all disciplines who interact with students in a range of educational forums, many open to the public. Through this and other programs and services, the OFA supports student engagement in the arts and integrates the arts into University life. http://www.music.fas.harvard.edu