Paola Prestini – Executive Director/Creative Director
“National Sawdust is a home for curious artists and listeners, and in our inaugural season, we are offering a vast range of new music created and discovered by our curators. Our hope is to create an inclusive home where artists and audiences can learn, explore and listen creatively. I want to give other composers and artists the kinds of opportunities that would have helped me when I was in my 20s. I believe that by giving artists the reins to program the space and by lending support to their projects in the early phases of development we will make a unique contribution to New York City’s musical ecosystem.”
Composer, multimedia artist and entrepreneur Paola Prestini is “the enterprising composer and impresario” (New York Times) and “visionary-in-chief” (Time Out New York) of VisionIntoArt, the non-profit multimedia production company dedicated to fostering collaborative, interdisciplinary new music. Prestini has been commissioned by the BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and the Kronos Quartet. Her work has been presented by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and London’s Barbican Centre. She has collaborated with stage designers, puppeteers, astrophysicists, conservationists, musicians, dancers, singers and more. She has been awarded residencies at the Park Avenue Armory, The Watermill Center and Sundance Institute. Prestini co-founded VisionIntoArt in 2001 while a student at the Juilliard School, where she was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Since then, the company has provided comprehensive support—from fundraising and commissioning to incubation and performances—for more than 100 original productions. She launched VIA Records in 2014.
2015-16 is a banner season for Prestini. The Young People’s Chorus of New York City will perform the world premiere of Epiphany: The Cycle of Life, which Prestini composed and which VIA is co-producing with the Young People’s Chorus, November 4-7 in BAM’s 2015 Next Wave Festival. On March 5 & 6, 2016, Aging Magician, which Prestini co-created with Rinde Eckert, and Julian Crouch and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, makes its world premiere at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The Los Angeles Philharmonic will present 21c Liederabend, the art song festival Prestini created, directs and curates with Beth Morrison, on April 19, 2016, at Walt Disney Hall; the lineup features the world premiere of a new Prestini composition. The Colorado, a new film/eco-cantata premieres at Houston’s Da Camera and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; her new opera, Gilgamesh, directed by Michael Counts, begins development at the New England Conservatory for a Arts Emerson and Boston Celebrity Series premiere, and Sea with Two Oars, a new work with Robert Wilson, begins development for Opera Australia at the Watermill Center.