Rinde Eckert, the 2009 recipient of The Alpert Award in the Arts for Theatre and finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, is a writer, composer, performer, and director. A classically trained singer celebrated for his remarkably flexible and inventive singing voice combined with an electric physical presence, Mr. Eckert's Opera/New Music Theatre productions tour throughout America and to major festivals in Europe and Asia. A multi-instrumentalist, he has performed in his own multi-media theater pieces and with the Paul Dresher Ensemble and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, among others.
In the last ten years, Rinde Eckert has written and composed four new music/theater plays, three of which successfully ran off-Broadway, winning numerous awards and Drama Desk nominations: And God Created Great Whales (Foundry Theater in New York), Highway Ulysses (American Repertory Theater in Cambridge), Horizon for a consortium of University Arts Centers (New York Theatre Workshop), and Orpheus X (ART, Theatre for a New Audience).
Writing and directing projects with new music ensembles include SLIDE with composer/guitarist Steven Mackey and eighth blackbird; Imaginary City with So Percussion; and The Schick Machine with virtuoso percussionist Steven Schick in a solo-theater work composed and produced by Paul Dresher. His one-act play An Idiot Divine received rave reviews from the New York press following a Zankel Hall performance. Mr. Eckert wrote the text for and sang in Steve Mackey’s oratorio Dreamhouse and wrote the libretto for Jerry Granelli’s recording Sandhills Reunion. Rinde Eckert received the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2005 Marc Blitzstein Award and was a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow.