Eva Kendrick - Portrait by Tamara Lackey
Eva Kendrick is a composer, songwriter and vocalist. She writes in many genres including opera, chamber music, song cycles, electroacoustic music, and film music. She is very active in the Boston and surrounding music communities, serving as Music Director at First Parish Medfield and as music theory and voice teacher at the Community Music Center of Boston, where she is a composer-in-residence. She directs the thriving Eva Kendrick Voice Studio and is in demand as a freelance composer.
Eva has been commissioned by ensembles and organizations including the Atlanta-based Anon Ensemble, the Milton Chamber Choir, Dinosaur Annex, Rialto Arts, the New Gallery Concert Series, the Community Music Center of Boston Chamber Orchestra, and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra. She has written scores for filmmakers in New York, Boston, Tempe, and Providence. Eva enjoys collaborating with poets and has set poems by Kathleen Spivack, Naomi Shihab Nye, Paul Turner, and Laurie Robertson-Lorant, producing large-scale song cycles and choral works. Other famous poets she has set song cycles and choral pieces to include e.e. cummings, Elizabeth Bishop, William Shakespeare and Walt Whitman.
Venues for Eva's original music include the EBELL of Los Angeles, Brandeis University, Wimberly Theatre, WaterFire Providence, the Magdalena Project (USA), Cyclorama, Mary K. Hail Music Mansion, Pasadena Balcony Theatre, Pickman Hall, Allen Hall, First Night Providence, and the radio stations WOMR and WRBB. Festivals and concert series include the International Alliance of Women in Music 2011 and 2013 Congresses; Alive By Her Own Hand: Female Composers As Performers of Their Work; Longy School of Music’s SeptemberFEST Series; Boston’s Birth of a Musical Festival; Summer Shorts Festival; Longy Alumnae Concert Series; the Longfellow National Park Concert Series, and the Arts in the Village Concert Series.
In 2014, Kendrick was awarded the Judith Lang Zaimont Prize by the International Alliance of Women in Music New Music Search for her chamber piece Juntos. She also received the Marilla McDill Prize for Teaching Excellence and Community Service from the Community Music Center of Boston. Other awards include ASCAPLU$ Awards from 2000 to the present, a Subito grant from the American Composers Forum, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant, a Longy School of Music Scholarship, a USA Today Award, and the Robert J. Graves Music Scholarship from the Chopin Club of Providence. In 2010 and 2011, she received Honorable Mentions in the Judith Lang Zaimont category of the International Alliance of Women in Music (IAWM) New Music Search. Eva is a member of ASCAP, the IAWM, and the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network. She has been featured on the SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States) Web site and is a contributor to the IAWM newsletter.
Kendrick is very active within the Unitarian-Universalist Musicians Network as a composer, performer and student. She is a graduate of the UUA Music Leadership Certification Program. She is a noted composer in the Harvard Square Library list of Notable UU Composers and has composed several spiritual, uplifting and non-denominational hymns, including her Hymns for People choral series. Her pieces have been perofrmed by UU, UCC and congregational churches in many states, from Conecticut to Hawaii and many in between. In 2013 and 2014, she performed in front of more than 3,500 people at the Unitarian-Universalist General Assemblies in Louisville, KY and in Providence, RI as a songleader, accompanist and in a vocal quartet.
She has written several operas and musicals and has recently collaborated with several opera companies including the Thompson St. Opera Company (Louisville, KY), Gateway Opera (St. Louis, MO) and Boston Opera Collaborative. Her short opera The Break-Up received an Honorable Mention from the American Prize in 2015 and her opera American Flag was a Semi-Finalist in 2016. Her musical Le Bistro Cafe was supported by a Subito Grant from the American Composers Forum in Los Angeles, and her musical Operator received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant. She has been commissioned to write short operas for the past two years for Opera Bites, a festival of 10-minute operas performed at the Longy School of Music by Boston Opera Collaborative.
A professional vocalist, Eva has performed with light opera companies in New England and California and has won several awards, including first, second and third prizes in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Competitions in Providence and Boston. Voice teachers include Shigemi Matsumoto, Noel Velasco, and Karyl Ryczek. She frequently performs works by other local composers such as Chris Eastburn, Elizabeth Knight, and Miriam Miller. She also performed with a contemporary folk band, Anne’s Cordial.
Eva is the founder of the Eva Kendrick Voice Studio based in Medfield, MA. She is an enthusiastic advocate for her students, ensuring they know about upcoming auditions, recitals and competitions. In the past year, students of hers have been finalists in and garnered awards from the Rhode Island National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Musical Theatre Song Festival; Boston NATS Musical Theatre Song Festival; the Boston Lyric Opera Aria Contest for Teens, the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, the New England NATS Competition and much more. Students of hers have appeared on Broadway and in National Broadway tours including Les Miserables, Matilda, White Christmas, Tuck Everlasting and The Sound of Music.
She received a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Rhode Island College and attended the Summer Training Congress at the Tony Award-winning American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. She received an M.M. in Composition with Distinction from the Longy School of Music in 2006, where she studied with composer John Howell Morrison.
"Eva Kendrick, in one of three world premieres on the agenda, transports an iconic encounter on a park bench from the New York angst of Edward Albee’s Zoo Story to a Parisian romantic nostalgia in Wish You Were Here. The pheromone-aligned couple, as portrayed by Carley DeFranco and Scott Ballantine, made as much as they could of the cute conceit. “It may have been nice sharing a lifetime with you in a love that might have been,… but I need to catch my plane.” The music served the story with generous helpings of pleasantness." Lee Eiseman, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 2017
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"The festival was privileged to include many world premieres, the first of which was Eva Kendrick’s Wish You Were Here, based on the play of the same name by Claudia Haas. This opera follows an encounter between two strangers-turned-soulmates who entertain a fantasy of starting a life together under the intoxicating glow of Paris by night. Rife luscious jazz influences, Kendrick’s score envelops the listener with intriguing harmonies that transport us to La Ville-Lumière along with Adrienne Boris’ attentive stage direction. The well-meaning Frenchman remarks,
“Mademoiselle, it’s been a pleasure sharing a lifetime with you,” and it was a pleasure witnessing it through Carley DeFranco and Scott Ballantine’s charismatic performances as Ashley and Jean-Louis." Kristen Tomecek, The Theatre Times, 2017.
Read the full review here.
"The next three works were accompanied by pianist alone. Composer Eva Kendrick’s American Flag adapted the satirical words of playwright Sylvia Reed, representing the perils of the America’s Iraq involvement with the confusion, regret, and indecisiveness from a Bachelor party hookup. Through the subtle accompaniment and Gershwin gestures, the simultaneously dense and comical nature of the situation is brought to the foreground strikingly and powerfully." David Stevens, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 2016
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"Emily...makes virtue out of understatement and low-key, even ordinary moments in the life of poet Emily Dickinson.This is an insightful glimpse into the psyche of a budding but reclusive artist whose life simply does not provide the building blocks of standard dramatic structure. There is no tragedy to exploit other than the pathos one might draw from a conflicted soul, but that introspection is what makes Emily a singular theatrical opera .Dramatically, the high points occur in two successive scenes involving multiple characters. A challenging sextet of family and one hapless prospective suitor for Emily provides the most complex moment dramatically and musically, as a conversation shifts into six separate interior monologues. Immediately following is a scene of the family at the dinner table that features the most sublime example of harmony as one Emily joins the sextet for a rendering of The Lord’s Prayer." Keith Waits, Arts Louisville, 2014
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"Eva Kendrick’s chamber opera “Emily" is a satisfying peek into the family dynamics and dramatic social life of one of America’s most intriguing foundational poets Kendrick weaves Dickinson’s poems seamlessly through her own original music and libretto, creating natural moments for characters to read aloud from Emily’s work in the context of a scene. The music is appealing in its simplicity with just enough moments of operatic flourish to thrill the audience...Kendrick’s dramatic ensemble numbers make excellent use of counterpoint and, in the case of a particularly lovely rendering of The Lord’s Prayer, a cappella. Her deft inclusion of humor is not to go unnoticed, either." Erin Keane, WFPL, (Lousville's NPR Station), 2014
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"Eva Kendrick...took a concise slice of Dickinson’s life, a cast of ten, a piano, and only an hour of your time to explore the essence of Emily’s poetry...there are some nice harmonies and one fantastic moment with a 6-part stacked polyphonic monologue. " Keep Louisville Literary Blog, 2014
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"The original songs use well-observed lyrical detail to produce effects alternately chilling and sweet." [Anne's Cordial CD review] The Providence Journal. 05/09
"Eva Kendrick’s moving setting of Joan Lavender Guthrie’s "To D.R. in Holloway" brought the work of this little-known poet to light and reminded us of the struggle for women’s suffrage. It also gave soprano Anney Gillotte a spirited and gospel-inflected cadenza; all the singing here, as elsewhere was exhilarating." The Boston Musical Intelligencer. 3/09
"The featured composer of the evening, Eva Kendrick, incorporated performers from the Community Music Center in Against the Grain. Kendrick shows a keen ability to write interesting music at an educational level, incorporating an appropriate level of difficulty in the parts for the students and the professionals in a very effective way. The students played with commendable accuracy and enthusiasm, providing a good end to a diverse and engaging program." The Boston Musical Intelligencer. 02/09
[about Eva's band Anne's Cordial] "The Providence-based female trio Anne's Cordial can make a 16th-century Spanish Christmas carol sound like the blues, then turn around and make Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on My Trail" sound like a piece of medieval music. They've got piano, guitar and harp, but the voices are the thing, both individually and (especially) combined. Highly recommended." Providence Journal. 02/08
"Seamlessly weds verse, biography and song. "Emily" proves pure poetry." Attleboro Sun Chronicle.
"Le Bistro Cafe is] Just plain fun...The jokes and local L.A. digs are on target." NoHo News L.A.
["Country Fields" was] one of the highlights of the evening...a calm, atmospheric piece that brought to mind some modern forms of Celtic music. Swansea News.
"Kendrick's harmonies are satisfying...made creative use of the voices." Emily Dickinson International Society Newsletter
"Fresh melodies. We'll no doubt be hearing more from [Kendrick]." Providence Journal.
"Kendrick's masterful execution of harmony and melody is both tremendously accessible and deeply complex. Her music is always a joy to perform." Jessica Sherer, flutist