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Amanda Gookin

Brooklyn, NY            

Praised for her “expert technical work” (The Strad), cellist Amanda Gookin “pushes Classical forward” (LA Times) and champions the future of music through the creation and bold performance of new works, and a dedication to education, culture, and community engagement.

In 2015, Amanda initiated Forward Music Project to commission new multimedia works for solo cello and video art that elevate stories of feminine empowerment through raw performances and educational programs. During the 2018-19 season, Amanda was an Artist-In-Residence at National Sawdust. She has premiered and internationally toured twelve new works for FMP 1.0 and FMP 2.0: in this skin and will premiere six new commissions for FMP 3.0: fever dreams between the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the next American Presidential Election in Fall 2020. 

Amanda was the founder and decade-long cellist of string quartet, PUBLIQuartet, specializing in the performance of new music and improvisation. She was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in 2020 for their album, “Freedom and Faith.”  PQ was the 2017/18 Quartet-In-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and recipient of the 2019 Chamber Music America Visionary Award. Amanda initiated PQ’s composer program, PUBLIQ Access, to commission works by composers who significantly impact a new approach to writing for string quartet.

A dedicated educator, Amanda serves on the faculty at Mannes School of Music and SUNY Purchase, leading courses on experimental performance, social leadership, and women in music. She teaches master classes on improvisation, chamber music, and cello performance throughout the U.S. and coaches chamber music and contemporary ensembles at SUNY Purchase. Amanda has been sought after to speak on activism through music by Second Inversion, Houston Public Media Classical Classroom, Tulsa Public Radio, Talea Ensemble, I Care If You Listen, and Los Angeles Times.

Amanda has been presented by The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University (Washington, DC), Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Los Angeles), Park Avenue Armory (New York City), OK Electric Festival (Tulsa, OK), and deDoelen (Rotterdam, NL). 

“Veiled” by Niloufar Nourbakhsh

“Veiled” (2018) is on the effort of Iran’s patriarchal effort to veil and hide women’s presence. This is done subtly and actively in many forms. The most upfront effort of this sort are two laws that I am pointing at in this piece:
1. The mandatory Hijab/Veil that is enforced on Iranian Women (Veiling women’s appearance)
2. The law against female singers who are not allowed to sing solo. They have to either be back vocals or accompanied by a male singer in order to perform and release albums. (Veiling women’s voice)
– Niloufar Nourbakhsh

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“memories lie dormant” by Morgan Krauss

Forward Music Project commission: “memories lie dormant: they are reviled before they are revealed” (2016) is a piece that expresses what it means to be a survivor of sexual assault. I believe in this project and will use this duo as a platform to let other survivors know they don’t have to suffer in silence nor do they have to negate their triumphs in silence.” – Morgan Krauss

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“Swerve” for cello and loop pedal by Jessica Meyer

Forward Music Project commission: “Swerve” (2016) is about making a conscious effort to get everything grooving the way it should, in balance with all the feelings and responsibilities that are unique to women. In essence…. that moment when you “get your swerve on.” – Jessica Meyer

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