“Siddhartha: A Hermitage Collaboration of Words and Music”

October 27, 2023 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hermitage Beach
6660 Manasota Key Road
FL 34223
"Siddhartha: A Hermitage Collaboration of Words and Music" @ Hermitage Beach

“Siddhartha: A Hermitage Collaboration of Words and Music”
with Hermitage Fellows Melissa Studdard and Christopher Theofanidis

Christopher Theofanidis’s Hermitage Residency generously sponsored by Gerald & Sondra Biller.

Friday, October 27 at 6pm

Hermitage Beach (entrance at 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood, FL 34223)

Register here.
Registration is required. $5 per person.

In the shade of the house, in the sunshine on the riverbank by the boats, in the shade of the sallow wood and fig tree, Siddhartha, the handsome Brahmin’s son, grew up with his friend Govinda.” So begins Siddhartha, Herman Hesse’s canonical work about the search for life’s meaning and spiritual fulfillment, which serves as the inspiration for this new collaboration between celebrated poet Melissa Studdard and Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Theofanidis. Originally conceived at the Hermitage and developed in collaboration with two other Hermitage artists, be among the first to experience an early sharing of this oratorio, as well as insights into collaboration and the creative process from this exceptional duo of Hermitage Fellows as they return to the place where it all began.

Returning Hermitage Fellow Melissa Studdard is the author of five books, including the poetry collections Dear Selection Committee and I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, the poetry chapbook Like a Bird with a Thousand Wings, and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her work has been featured by NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Guardian, Ms. Magazine, and Houston Matters, and has also appeared in a wide variety of periodicals, such as POETRY, Kenyon Review, Psychology Today, New Ohio Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, and Poets & Writers. A short film of the title poem from Studdard’s I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (by Dan Sickles of Moxie Pictures for Motionpoems) was an official selection for the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, as well as winner of the REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award. Other poems of Studdard’s have won or placed in prizes such as The Lucille Medwick Memorial Award for a poem on a humanitarian theme from The Poetry Society of America, The Penn Review Poetry Prize, Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize from The Missouri Review, the Tom Howard Prize from Winning Writers, The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize from Munster Literature Centre, and Aesthetica magazine Creative Writing Award. Her book awards include the Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award, the Kathak Literary Award, the Poiesis Award of Honor International, the Readers’ Favorite Award, and two Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence college and is a professor for the Lone Star College System.

Christopher Theofanidis is a returning Hermitage Fellow and Grammy Award winner. His music has been performed by many of the world’s leading performing arts organizations, from the London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and New York Philharmonic to the San Francisco Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the American Ballet Theatre. He is a two-time Grammy nominee for Best Composition, and his viola concerto recording won a Grammy for best solo performance; his work, Rainbow Body, is one of the most performed works of the new era, having been performed by over 150 orchestras worldwide.  Mr. Theofanidis is currently the chair of composition at both Yale University and the Aspen Music Festival, where he serves on the faculty and helps to select the winner of the Hermitage Prize in Composition.