Creative Team

Composer

NICO MUHLY

Text

WILLIAM STRUNK Jr. & E. B. WHITE

Concept and illustrator

MAIRA KALMAN

About

Conceived by Maira Kalman and composed by Nico Muhly, The Elements of Style is a song-cycle set to the indispensable writing manual by Strunk and White and incorporates singers with instruments ranging from viola, banjo, and vibraphone to tea cups, typewriter, and duck call. Kalman—an illustrator of children’s books, designer of fabrics and covers for The New Yorker, and the sole artist entrusted by the estate of E.B. White with the illustration of his timeless text—commissioned the then emerging composer Nico Muhly to create operatic songs using lyrics from The Elements of Style.

Beth Morrison Projects produced this work which was presented in a sold-out performance as part of the LIVE from the New York Public Library series in October 2005, igniting a media frenzy of coverage in The New York Times, A&E, NPR, and CBS Morning News. The Elements of Style was selected by National Public Radio as one of its “Best of 2005.”

Support

​Presented by New York Public Library Live! in a BMP world-premiere production

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