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Opening Doors

Missy Mazzoli (CFA’02) Speaks Out For Women In Classical Music

They are determined to use their experience, influence, and positions to help make their business, organization, and world more inclusive. They are breaking barriers—and then reaching back to help those behind them overcome the same hurdles. They are BU alumni, faculty, and staff—of every race, ethnicity, age, and gender—and they are “Opening Doors” for the next generation.

Missy Mazzoli began playing piano when she was seven.

BU Opera Institute staged Mazzoli’s Proving Up during the Fall 2021 Fringe Festival

“I knew instantly that I wanted to dedicate my life to music; it had such a profound effect on me,” says Mazzoli (CFA’02). “I started writing when I was 10. I made the decision to be a composer before I knew what that meant.”

Now, she is one of America’s preeminent composers—Time Out New York calls her “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart.” Recently composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mazzoli is writing an opera based on George Saunders’ novel Lincoln in the Bardo for the Metropolitan Opera, and she rattles off new works that are performed or about to be performed by the National Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and others. Musical America named her its 2022 Composer of the Year

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Missy Mazzoli (CFA’02) is one of America’s preeminent composers, and she’s fighting to improve the path for women in classical music. Photo by Marylene May


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