Susan Lankin-Watts

2015 Pew Fellow

1/4: Susan Lankin-Watts, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/4: Susan Lankin-Watts, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
3/4: Susan Lankin-Watts in performance. Photo by Alan Lankin.
4/4: Susan Lankin-Watts in performance. Photo by Alan Lankin.

“I want something deeper and more groundbreaking from my work—something that cradles and pays homage to the past, but does so with an ear for the now.”

Susan Lankin-Watts (b. 1966) is a fourth-generation klezmer musician striving to give new voice to the art form and create klezmer culture for a younger generation. She is a singer, trumpet player, composer, and arranger whose complex arrangements draw on influences from her family’s roots in this musical tradition—from her great-grandfather, who was a prolific poet, to her mother Elaine Hoffman Watts, the first woman to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music for percussion performance, and herself a Pew Fellow in the Arts in 2000. Lankin-Watts has studied music at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University and the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music. She has been a workshop leader and music coach at Yale University, Temple University, the Eastman School of Music, the Royal College of Music in London, Luxembourg Conservatory of Music, and Paris Conservatory of Klezmer. The recipient of a 2014 grant from the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts, Lankin-Watts has performed all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, and has released numerous recordings.

References

Pew Fellow Christopher Colucci on his progression from musician to sound designer, the music and books that inspire him, and more.

Pew Fellow and poet Brian Teare (2015) has been awarded a residency through the Center’s ongoing partnership with MacDowell Colony.

Grants & Grantees

The Kimmel Center, Inc., best known as a presenting organization and home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Ballet, is one of the most well-attended cultural venues in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Singers collaborated with new music ensembles Relâche and Orchestra 2001, in a program featuring a world premiere by Philip Glass and a Philadelphia premiere by Steve Reich.

Questions of Practice

The third article in the American Impresario series features Wein, pianist, founder of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and many others.

Pig Iron Theatre Company launched the School for Advanced Performance Training: a two-year certificate program for actors and directors.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ken Vandermark’s primary creative emphasis is the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation.

Grants & Grantees

Thaddeus Phillips (Pew Fellow, 2002) creates theater works that use transformational scenography, documentary footage, and improvisation to peer into not-often seen worlds.

Grants & Grantees

The Philadelphia Singers is a professional choral ensemble with a commitment to preserving and strengthening America’s rich choral heritage.

Throughout Dancing around the Bride’s run at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, the exhibition received media attention from a number of publications.

Anna Drozdowski, a curator of performance, hosts European duo Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion for a two-week retrospective of their collaborative career. The two juxtapose the formality of music composition with a radical and open approach to performance, composition and audience.

Grants & Grantees

Francis Di Fronzo is a visual artist and a 2004 Pew Fellow.