About the Composer

Described as a “new music ninja” by the Hartford Advocate, Jessica Rudman is a Connecticut-based composer, theorist, and teacher.  Her works have been performed by groups such as the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Cadillac Moon Ensemble, The Omaha Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra.  She has received awards from SCI/ASCAP, Boston Metro Opera, the College Music Society, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and others.  As a theorist, she has presented at conferences across the United States and abroad on topics ranging from Ancient Greek scales to the music of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.  As a teacher, she has served on the faculty at Baruch College, Central Connecticut State University, and the Hartt School.  She is currently the Director of the Young Composers Project and the Chair of the Creative Studies Department at the Hartt School Community Division.

Dr. Rudman composes music that unifies extended techniques with clear melodic development and narrative structures to create a unique and personal emotional expression.  She strives to write pieces that provoke an instinctive, visceral response so that even if a listener may not understand everything that is happening in the composition, he or she will still be moved by it.  She believes that the ability to reach one’s audience and make them feel something is of extreme importance in our current social, economic, and political environment.

About the Librettist

Kendra Preston Leonard is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; music and screen history; and music and Shakespeare; and a published poet. As a poet, Leonard has published in vox poetica, lunch, These Fragile Lilacs, and Upstart: Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed, among other venues. Dr. Leonard’s scholarly work includes the books Music for Silent Film: A Guide to North American Resources; Louise Talma: A Life in Composition;The Conservatoire Américain: a History; and Shakespeare, Madness, and Music: Scoring Insanity in Cinematic Adaptations. She has been a featured speaker on BBC Radio 3, was the 2013 Fall speaker for the American Musicological Society-Library of Congress Lecture Series, and is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships for her work, including a 2017-18 Newberry Library Long-Term Fellowship; a 2016-17 Harry Ransom Center Fellowship; the 2016 Janet Levy Award from the American Musicological Society; a 2016 American Music Research Center Fellowship; the 2016 Society for American Music Sight and Sound Subvention; the inaugural Judith Tick Fellowship from the Society for American Music (2013-2014); and the Thornton Wilder Fellowship at the Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (2009). She is the Director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive.