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Vicki Ray

About this Artist

Described as “phenomenal and fearless,” Vicki Ray is a pianist, improviser, and composer. She has commissioned and premiered countless new works by today’s leading composers. Ray is a founding member of Piano Spheres and head of keyboard studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where she was named the first recipient of the Hal Blaine Chair in Musical Performance. She has appeared on numerous international festivals and was a regular member of the faculty at the Bang On a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA.  

Ray has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella series as soloist and collaborative artist. Her widely varied performing and recording career covers the gamut of new and old music: from Boulez to Reich, Wadada Leo Smith to Beethoven. Notable recordings include the first Canadian disc of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Blue Rider Ensemble, the premiere recordings of Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations) and the Daniel Variations with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the first recording of John Cage’s Europeras 3 and 4. Her recording of Cage’s The Ten Thousand Things on Microfest Records received a 2013 Grammy nomination. Recent recordings include the premiere recording of Andrew Norman’s Sonnets with Eighth Blackbird’s Nick Photinos on the New Amsterdam label and YAR—a duo recording on the Orenda label with slide guitarist Scot Ray. Her recording of Daniel Lentz’s River of 1000 Streams was named one of the top 20 recordings of 2017 by Alex Ross in The New Yorker. Vicki can also be seen on the mighty chromolodeon as a member of the LA-based Partch ensemble.