about marisa

Composer | Singer Marisa Michelson creates interdisciplinary music-theatre, choral work, and musicals, and is the Founding Director of the psychedelic singing collective Constellation Chor | an immersion in voice, movement, and spirit.  

The collective performs internationally and in New York City, and has expanded organically into the new music community, making their Lincoln Center debut in 2018 premiering Ash Fure’s Filament (New York Philharmonic conducted by Jaap van Zweden), and collaborating with artists and venues such as Claire Chase, Sarah Hennies, Paola Prestini, Maria Popova, Heartbeat Opera, Harvard Art Lab, Spectrum and Pioneer Works.

Since 2016, the Chor has been engaging at the intersection of singing, movement, deep listening, ritual-making and music-theatre while in ongoing residence at the historic Judson Memorial Church. In addition to collaborating with composers, choreographers, directors, videographers, and interdisciplinary artists, they also perform interdisciplinary pieces composed by Michelson. 

Michelson’s award-winning compositions and theatre pieces have been called “exquisite” (The New York Times), “otherworldly” (Steven Suskin), “gorgeous...adventurous” (Vox Magazine). Her off-Broadway musicals include Tamar of the River starring Margo Seibert (Prospect Theater; 2 Drama Desk Nominations) and One Thousand Nights and One Day starring Sepideh Moafi (Prospect Theatre, ART NY).  Naamah’s Ark, her oratorio for five choirs starring Victoria Clark (River to River festival in Rockefeller Park) was conducted by Ted Sperling.

Residencies: MacDowell, Ucross, New Dramatists, Pioneer Works, National Sawdust, Blue Mountain Center.

Awards: National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Jonathan Larson Award, Eric Salzman Award for Music-Theatre, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, MacDowell, Ucross, New Dramatists, Jonathan Larson Award. Upcoming: Toulmin co-fellow (along with Miriam Parker) with Center for Ballet Arts and National Sawdust. Marisa lives, works and teaches in New York City and Hudson, NY. www.marisamichelson.com www.marisamichelsonvocalstudio.com


2020/2021 – Toulmin Foundation Awarded Co-Fellow (with Miriam Parker) for National Sawdust and Center for Ballet Arts

2019 – Support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts for Constellation Chor

2018 – Inaugural Eric Salzman Award for New Music Theatre for Song of Song of Songs 

2018 – Winner (with co-writer Jason Grote) of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grant for the new musical One Thousand Nights and One Day 

2017 – Winner of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grant for Marisa Michelson’s Desire | Divinity Project

2016 – Residency at the Blue Mountain Center

2015 – MacDowell and UCross Fellowships 

2014 – Weston Playhouse Writer’s Residency 

2012 – Winner of a NAMT (National Alliance for Musical Theatre) Writer’s Residency award to work on The Grid at Millikin University.

2011 – Winner (with Joshua H. Cohen) of the Jonathan Larson Award

2011 – Theatreworks Palo Alto Writers Residency

2010 – Commissioned by Montclair University´s New Works Initiative to create a new musical adaptation of Jason Grote´s play, 1001

2009 – Winner of the American Musical Voices Project: the Next Generation commission from the Shen Family Foundation to create an original full-length musical for the Tony-Award Winning Signature Theatre (Arlington, VA): First full workshop, Tamar of the River, July 2010

2008 – The Shen Family Foundation Developmental Grant, in conjunction with the Signature Theater´s “American Musical Voices Project: the Next Generation” – Honoree

2008 – New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Workshop. `

2007 – Fellowship to Compose Music and study Indian Hindustani singing in India

2006 – Winner of St. Botolph Grant-in-Aid for Composition