B i o g r a p h y
As a dramatic and evocative award-winning composer,
Michelle Green Willner’s works have been commissioned and performed internationally by ensembles such as; North/South Consonance, NACUSA, Synergy, UCLA (David’s Quilt and Shir Chadash), Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Hollywood Master Chorale, American Cantors’ Association, Shechina, UCI Women’s Chorus, Speculum Musicae, New Millennium, New Calliope Singers, Premier, Society for New Music, CSULB New Music Ensemble, Kol Haemek Chorale, Earplay at Center for the Arts Forum, San Francisco, 2020 & 2017 Unsung Festival, LA Choreographers and Dancers, Australia’s Celebration of Women and Music and Zimriya, Israel’s International Choral Festival.
With her love for artistic collaborations, Green Willner has been involved in an ongoing multi-disciplinary collaboration with international visual/performance artist Doni Silver Simons. Their work, titled Reverberations, was performed for the Anniversary of Kristallnacht at the Museum of Tolerance, and selected to be performed at the 2017 Jerusalem Biennale as well as on LA Made at the Mark Taper Auditorium, LA Central Public Library. Reliquary: An Ascent was recently performed at the 2019 Jerusalem Biennale. Their performance, Fragments, was presented by More Art Here, held in conjunction with the prestigious 2018 Art Los Angeles Contemporary. Michelle has also accepted commissions for various art installations as well as poetry and dance collaborations.
Dr. Green Willner’s awards include ten ASCAP PLUS Awards, two ASCAP Foundation Grants to Young Composers, Community Relations Council Grant, Brian M. Israel Prize (Society for New Music), SOCAN’s Serge Garant Award, Shalshelet’s 6th International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music (2016), and the WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize. Dr. Green Willner has also been granted fellowships at June in Buffalo, the Wellesley Composers Conference, CSULB, ASCAP/Fred Karlin Film Scoring Workshop, Mellon Foundation (Columbia University) and the President's Fellow (Columbia University).
Having received her B.M. degree from the University of Toronto, where she grew up, Michelle continued her studies at Columbia University, studying under Professors Mario Davidovsky, David Rakowski and Steven Mackey.
Many choruses have performed Dr. Green Willner’s choral works internationally, as well as exclusively by the Tehila Choir, which she founded in Toronto, Canada (1984-1989), Mit Gezang, which she directed from 1999-2003 in Los Angeles, the Kol Ruach Ensemble, which she directed from 2003-2006, and by the Michelle Green Willner Singers, which she is currently directing.
Dr. Green Willner has given talks and lectures for the Jerusalem Biennale, More Art Here, Voices of LA, Jewish Heritage Alliance, SF’s Interfaith Center at the Presidio, LA Made Festival, unSUNG, LA’s New Center for Psychoanalysis, Cantors Assembly of America, the Nowakowsky International Jewish Choral Festival, SF's Center for the Arts Forum, CSULB, 92nd St. "Y", Board of Jewish Education of Toronto, and has taught composition and theory at the University of California, Irvine, California State University at Long Beach and the American Jewish University. She has also been a Contributor/Advisor for the website, L.A. Opening Nights.
Currently, as well as composing, Dr. Green Willner is the Artistic and Musical Director of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Children’s Choir (www.jewishchildrenschoir.com), sponsored by the Schulweis Institute, as well as supported, in part, by the LA County Arts and Culture Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Dr. Green Willner is currently a Max Helfman Music Fellow, and was selected to be a Creative Inquiry Fellow for both 2016 and 2017.
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