Eleonor Sandresky writes music that has been described as “lovely, but enigmatic,” as having “ever-varying qualities of touch, register and intensity,” as “witty, liberating” and as “beautiful.” Her music is featured in both narrative and art film, and has been presented at film festivals around the world, including Cannes. The results of one of her more recent collaborations was a part of the Venice Biennale 2013. She has received grants and commissions from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, American Music Center, New Music USA and Meet the Composer. Eleonor has been a composer-in-residence at Yaddo, STEIM, and The MacDowell Colony, among others. Recent works include Donne Songs Without Words, for viols and harp, commissioned by Parthenia, premiered March 2015, and Opening for guitar ensemble, commissioned by The New York Guitar Society and premiered in May 2016.
Sandresky is the inventor and performer of The Wonder Suit, a remote set of wireless sensors that the performer wears and uses to trigger sonic events, engineered by Michael Clemow. These sonic events range from discreet processes on a live sound, such as a subtle reverb addition, to surface manipulations of the pitch for the entire live output. She has created large-scale works for The Wonder Suit but she also performs live improvisations with the suit, most recently on a Mexican tour in 2015.
She is at the same time one of New York’s pre-eminent new music pianists, known for performing “with such sweep and fueled majesty,” (Kathleen Supové) with performances and premieres of new works by a wide range of composers that include Don Byron, Annie Gosfield, Philip Glass, and Egberto Gismonti. She has recorded for CRI, Nonesuch, One Soul Records, New World Records, Mode Records, and Orange Mountain Music, and plays concerts throughout the world. In 2013 she initiated a series of collaboration projects that she presented at Spectrum called Rétes: collaboration series. Each month she composed and rehearsed music with or by another composer performer. Her collaborators included Du Yun, Andrew Sterman, Pat Irwin, Kamala Sankaram, and Randy Gibson. Out of these collaborations, Ensemble 50, a group of composer/performers with deep roots in open compositional forms, was born. The members, with Eleonor, are Mary Rowell, Kevin Norton, Jim Pugliese. She is currently represented by Price Rubin & Partners.
As a music director, she has led ensembles in a variety of theatrical settings, from dance performances with Susan Marshall to conducting live ensemble to film with the Philip Glass Ensemble, which she joined in 1991. She is co-founder of the MATA Festival. Her music is available on Koch International, One Soul Records, ERM Media, and Albany Records. Follow her on FaceBook, SoundCloud, YouTube, and on Twitter @chorpiano and @esandresky.