What Makes It Great?®
About Rob Kapilow
For over 20 years, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical sophistication or naiveté, Kapilow’s work brings music into people’s lives: opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear.
Kapilow’s range of activities is astonishingly broad, including his What Makes It Great?® presentations (now for over 20 seasons in New York and Boston), his family compositions and Family Musik® events, his Citypieces, corporate programs, and residencies with institutions as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada and Stanford University.
Kapilow has appeared on NBC’s Today Show with Katie Couric; he presented a special What Makes It Great?® for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and he has written two books published by Wiley/Lincoln Center: All You Have To Do Is Listen, which won the PSP Prose Award for Best Book in Music and the Performing Arts, and What Makes It Great (2011), the first book of its kind to be especially designed for the iPad with embedded musical examples. He is currently finishing a new book for Norton/Liveright on the American Songbook.
Rob Kapilow also writes and composes new music. He was the first composer to be granted the rights to set Dr. Seuss’ words to music, and his Green Eggs and Ham has been called “the most successful piece written for families this half century.” He is currently working on a new piece for the 25th anniversary of Ottawa Chamberfest based on Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculpture, “Maman.”
He was featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Composers In America series, and is a recipient of an Exxon Meet-the-Composer grant and numerous ASCAP awards.
Kapilow has conducted many of North America’s orchestras, as well as new works of musical theater, ranging from the Tony Award-winning Nine on Broadway to the premiere of Frida for the opening of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and premieres of works for the American Repertory Theater.