DR. EVAN KASSOF (b. 1988) is an opera maker, composer, and conductor based in Philadelphia. His most recent opera – libretto by Aleksandar Hut Kono – Ganymede 5 premiered in the 2019 Philly Fringe Festival. Elevator, a short chamber opera, premiered in March as the first episode of the 2019 Serial Opera Project. His operas Colony and Greenland were performed in London at the Royal Opera House, and Greenland was revived in 2018 in the Philadelphia Fringe in an ENAensemble production. He is the Music Director of ENAensemble and served from 2019-2020 as President of the Temple graduate employee labor union TUGSA (AFT 6290). He earned is PhD in Music Composition from Temple University in December 2020 with a two-part dissertation titled “Ganymede 5 – the Opera and an Analysis of Kate Soper’s Here be Sirens.” 

 

With a background in physics, Evan’s compositions often use science as source material, collaborating directly with physicists on Heat Death and Turbulence, and using complex mathematical systems to generate temporal and harmonic structures. Since becoming involved in labor organizing, some of his music has taken a more political turn. Cosmos 3 – Or – A Succession of Fascist Clowns and the mock-tone poem Collective Bargaining each are based on his experiences in labor organizing. His recent orchestral works include the flute concerto Blue, written in collaboration with flutist Chelsea Meynig, and Cosmos 5 – Water Music. As co-founder and Music Director of the contemporary music theater group ENAensemble, his recent conducting projects have included the 2019 Serial Opera Project (where ENA premiered six new chamber opera ‘episodes’), a fully-staged production of Pierrot Lunaire, and a serialized musical. As Music Director of the Temple Composers’ Orchestra, a sinfonietta which only premieres new works, he has developed and conducted the premiere of over a dozen new works.

Evan Kassof Composer

CB X KASSOF

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Evan Kassof about his work as a labor organizer, particularly as president of the Temple University Graduate Students’ Association (TUGSA). We dive into the inequalities present in higher education, as well as the affects of financial insecurity on our abilities to teach, create art, and help others.

In this episode, we talk to returning guest Evan Kassof about the problems and value of academia, as well as the role of academia in the arts. He shares his experiences obtaining 6 degrees and the expenses that come with attending University, building on his ideas from our discussion in No. 26: Artists Shouldn't Have to be Broke.