Associate Professor of Practice
- Division:Classical Performance and Composition
- Program:Composition (Theory & Analysis)
The works of composer Veronika Krausas are performed throughout Europe and North America, where she is recognized for her innovative use of dance, acrobatics and video. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) writes that “her works, whose organic, lyrical sense of storytelling are supported by a rigid formal elegance, give her audiences a sense that nature’s frozen objects are springing to life.” Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times said of her chamber opera “Something novel this way comes.”
Of Lithuanian heritage, she was born in Sydney, Australia and raised in Canada. She has received commissions from the Penderecki String Quartet, San Francisco Choral Artists and the Alexander String Quartet, ERGO Projects, Continuum Music, Toca Loca, and two commissions for Motion Music (Canada) including a Millennium Project Grant, and several Interdisciplinary Grants from the University of Southern California Arts Initiative and Subito grants from the American Composers Forum. She has music composition degrees from the University of Toronto, McGill University in Montreal, and a doctorate from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Since 1998 Krausas has directed, composed for, and produced multi-media events in Los Angeles that incorporate her works with dance, acrobatics and video. Her chamber opera The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth, based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, was premiered at the New York Opera’s VOX 2008 festival. It was staged and won both the Best Opera and Best Performance for The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth with soprano Michelle Jasso at Goat Hall Productions Works for Opera (San Francisco – 2009). Her opera also received a special commendation in 2008 by Vienna Masterworks – Nancy Van de Vate International Composition Prize for Opera. A full production was mounted in Los Angeles in August 2010 to sold out audiences. In 2013 it was featured at Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers Festival and during New Fangled Opera in New Orleans.
In 2008 she organized a concert and CD release for The Player Piano Project – a collection of works for player piano by 22 composers from 6 countries. In February 2009 the Penderecki String Quartet gave the US Premiere of midaregami, her work for string quartet and mezzo-soprano at REDCAT Theater in Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Language of the Birds, a commission for the 25th Anniversary of the San Francisco Choral Artists and the Alexander String Quartet, using text by the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was premiered in 2011 in San Francisco and released on CD with Foghorn Classics.
Her electronic work Waterland with video by Quintan Ana Wikswo, received its European premiere in Lyon France in October and had several international performances. Several of her chamber works were used by Wikswo for her solo exhibit Prophecy of Place at the Yeshiva Museum in New York City in 2012. Her chamber orchestra work analemma was an official selection of the US for the 2012 World Music Days in Belgium in October.
Recent premières have included: her solo piano pieces UN-intermezzi, performed and recorded by pianist Aron Kallay at Somewhere Very Else: The Polish-Lithuanian Connection concert. Subsequent performances have been by Steven Vanhauwaert at the Amigos De Música de São Lourenço in Almancil Portugal and François-Michel Rignol in France, Jeux des Vents performed by the Thornton Wind Ensemble, a new work for harp,sichord solo l’ombre du luth (shadow of the lute) for Gloria Cheng for Piano Spheres and a song cycle The Alchemist Suite for bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood, that been performed in Los Angeles and France. Her music will be featured at the Céret Music Festival in France in August.
A new work for four double basses will be premiered on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2013-2014 chamber music series.
Krausas is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Composition Department and the Director of Theory at the Thornton School of Music at USC, on the advisory council of Jacaranda Music, an associate artist with The Industry, a pre-concert lecturer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and an artist with Catalysis Projects.