Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Wallis and Brooklyn's National Sawdust Projects Present Forward Music Project 1.0 & 2.0

The Wallis and Brooklyn's National Sawdust Projects Present Forward Music Project 1.0 & 2.0

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and National Sawdust Projects, the producing arm of Brooklyn's acclaimed National Sawdust, present back-to-back evenings of two versions of Forward Music Project, a gripping multi-media program of stylistically contrasting commissions for solo cello and electronics by 12 of today's most forward-thinking female composers conceived and performed by cellist Amanda Gookin to encourage social change and women's empowerment. Forward Music Project 1.0, opens the two-night series on Thursday, May 30, 8:00 pm, and includes works by Angélica Negrón, Nathalie Joachim, Leila Adu, Jessica Meyer, Allison Loggins-Hull, Amanda Feery and Morgan Krauss. Forward Music Project 2.0: in this skin, set for Friday, May 31, 2019, 8:00 pm, features music by Paola Prestini, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Shelley Washington, Alex Temple and Kamala Sankaram. Held at The Wallis' Lovelace Studio Theater, both programs feature a visceral experience of music, light and stories that explore a range of issues facing women today, from the LGBTQ+ to reproductive rights, sexual violence and empowerment. The works are performed through the lens of solo cello, electronics, and projection art by S Katy Tucker and audio interludes from the composers.

Gookin says the compositions "require me to sing, chant, breathe, hiss, use a loop pedal and play percussion with my feet." Forward Music Project 1.0 premiered at National Sawdust on March 1, 2017. Forward Music Project 2.0 premiered there on March 20, 2019. Praised for her "expert technical work" (The Strad) and "delicate and fierce musical approach" (San Francisco Classical Voice), Gookin champions the future of music through the creation and bold performance of new works as well as through her dedication to education, culture and community engagement.

"Amanda Gookin's Forward Music Project is a vital and deeply compelling program that facilitates communication and social exchange through exceptional genre-defying artistry," says The Wallis' Artistic Director, Paul Crewes. "The Wallis is pleased to join forces with National Sawdust to present these two impactful evenings of musical and social innovation."

National Sawdust, a celebrated incubator of classical and new music, fosters groundbreaking work with a distinctive social viewpoint. This is the second collaboration this season between The Wallis and National Sawdust, a non-profit organization that provides resources and programmatic support to both emerging and established multi-cultural artists and composers who tell their stories through music. National Sawdust is named after the building's original tenant, a sawdust factory.

Following each performance will be a talkback moderated by Classical KUSC's Brian Lauritzen and National Sawdust's Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Paola Prestini, in conversation about the evening's program with the musicians.

Single tickets for each performance are $40. Visit, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services Office located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

AMANDA GOOKIN is the co-founder of the innovative string quartet, PUBLIQuartet (PQ), specializing in the performance of new music and improvisation. PQ was the 2017/18 Quartet-In-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, recipient of the 2019 Chamber Music America Visionary Award, and have performed in a diverse range of venues from Carnegie Hall and Wolf Trap to the Detroit Jazz Festival and Lincoln Center. Amanda is the Artistic Director of PQ's composer program, PUBLIQ Access, commissioning works by up-and-coming composers significantly impacting a new approach to writing for string quartet. In 2015, Amanda initiated the Forward Music Project to commission seven new works for solo cello and electronics by today's most forward-thinking composers that encourage social change for women and girls. Forward Music Project was premiered in March 2017 on the opening night of National Sawdust's Spring Revolution Festival. Amanda will premiere five new works for FMP 2.0 as part of her artist residency at National Sawdust in March 2019. A dedicated educator, Amanda gives master classes on improvisation and chamber music throughout the U.S. and serves on faculty at Mannes School of Music and SUNY Purchase, leading courses on career development and a seminar on the history of women in music. She has been sought after to speak on activism through music by TEDxMidAtlantic, Houston Public Media Classical Classroom, and I Care If You Listen. This Spring 2019, Amanda will collaborate with New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers and El Puente's Center for Arts and Culture and Missy Mazzoli's Luna Lab at the Kaufman Music Center. Amanda is currently on the touring roster of National Sawdust Projects. Upcoming performances include The Kennedy Center's Direct Current Festival in Washington, D.C., The Wallis in Beverly Hills, CA; Georgetown University in Washington, D.C; OK Electric Festival in Tulsa, OK; and Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, NL.

About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:

Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 250 dance, theatre, opera, classical music, cinema and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world's most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 48 Ovation Awards, seven L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards since opening in 2013. The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.

For more information about The Wallis, please visit:
For downloadable photos, please visit:
Like The Wallis on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Related Articles View More Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You