"It's Her Turn to Call the Tune"
The New York Times, August 14, 2009
(photograph by Ángel Franco)
A brief article about Melissa Smey, the new executive director of the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, one of New York's most significant musical institutions. Melissa is no newcomer to Miller, having served as the venue's general manager since 2001. Working alongside George Steel -- who had an article of his own in the same issue of the Times -- she played a significant if largely unsung role in Miller's happy tale, and took over programming the theater's jazz series in 2006.
About that series, solid and admirable but seldom as bold as Miller's classical offerings, Ms. Smey intends to bring it up to speed; Evan Parker and William Parker were two boldface names significantly dropped during our conversation. Read on to learn a bit more about a bright young professional who is also quite possibly the only person in the music industry, performers aside, who uses the words "cool" and "awesome" when describing how she feels about the music of Helmut Lachenmann.