Seth Parker Woods named Artist-in-Residence of Kaufman Music Center

Seth Parker Woods headshot


The Kaufman Music Center in New York has named Seth Parker Woods, cello artist-in-residence in the Department of Music, a 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence. The two other Artists-in-Residence named by the Kaufman Center are composer, producer, vocalist and Rome Prize winner Lisa Bielawa and pianist, composer, Avery Fisher Career Grant winner and Special Music School alumnus Conrad Tao.

Kaufman Music Center’s Artist-in-Residence program embeds versatile artists who are reimagining music and transforming the field into programs straddling KMC’s thriving education and performance programs. Now in its second year, the program weaves together the many threads of Kaufman Music Center: Artists-in-Residence perform in Merkin Hall and work with students from KMC’s Special Music School, the only K-12 public school in the U.S. that teaches music as a core subject; Face the Music, a teen new music program dedicated to performing cutting-edge music by living composers, including its own members; and Lucy Moses School, NYC’s largest community music school.

2020-21 Artist Residency events will take place both digitally and, when it's safe, in person with social distancing and appropriate safety measures. Decisions about in-person events will be made throughout the season as the COVID-19 situation develops.

Kaufman Music Center Executive Director Kate Sheeran says, “During the program’s first year, we came to appreciate the flexibility and innovation of our Artists-in-Residence more than we ever could have imagined. When the pandemic struck, they and our creative, resilient students were able to quickly pivot to digital projects that resulted in a series of amazing performance videos and the very first album released on the Kaufman Music Center label. As we begin a new season during a challenging time, I am so excited to see what Lisa Bielawa, Conrad Tao, Seth Parker Woods and our students will achieve, and how they will reimagine music together.”

“For at least a decade I have been enamored with the valiant creativity that has taken place at the Kaufman Music Center,” says Seth Parker Woods. “The energy the students, faculty and guest artists put into art making, alongside striving for academic success continues to blow my mind. I had the great fortune to witness many of their most recent projects this past season, and I cannot wait to dive in with the students, faculty and creative team across the Center. I’m honored to have been approached by KMC for this post, and we look forward to sharing the fruits of our time together with the world over the course of this season.”

Woods will work with Face the Music, using Mauricio Kagel’s musik theatre work Con Voce as a vehicle to create a new collective work using instruments, facial expressivity and voices. Given social distancing and the toll the global pandemic has taken on everyone, Seth will seize this opportunity to develop a piece that wraps together humor and theatre of the spectacle.

Woods and SMS students will perform Dick Higgins’s Danger Music #17 in person in KMC’s outdoor playground. Woods will give masterclasses for LMS cellists and SMS High School students focusing on  expanding their knowledge of composers and repertoire curation, and coach KMC ensembles leading up to side-by-side chamber music recitals.

On May 9 at Merkin Hall, Woods will perform a program of works for cello, electronics and film by Nathalie Joachim (The Race: 1915), Fredrick Gifford (Difficult Grace), Monty Adkins (Winter Tendrils), Freida Abtan (My Heart Is A River), Ryan Carter (Default Mode Network) and a new reimagining of Pierre Alexandre Tremblay’s asinglewordisnotenough 3 [invariant] with choreographer Roderick George.