Pack Distinguished Lecture Series Features Prolific Composer Libby Larsen, April 4-6

Posted Mar 23, 2022

The 20th Annual Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecture Series at Otterbein University is proud to bring to campus Libby Larsen, one of America’s most-performed living composers. A concert of her work, including the premiere of a commissioned piece and introductions by Larsen, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 4, in the Church of the Messiah United Methodist, 51. N. State St. Additionally, Larsen will give a lecture, “You Are the Music While the Music Lasts,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. Both events are free and open to the public.  

Libby Larsen

About the Lecture: As we human beings grapple with today’s ethical, spiritual and social issues, can music help us reach across what divides us to help us understand who we are as individuals and how together, we can act on our collective concerns and hope for a better world? Can a collection of pitches, rhythms and instruments change our hearts and souls? “You are the music while the music lasts.” – T.S. Eliot 

About Larsen: Larsen has composed over 500 works including orchestra, opera, vocal and chamber music, symphonic winds, and band. Her work is widely recorded. An advocate for the music and musicians of our time, Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum in 1973. She is a Grammy Award-winner and former Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress. She also has held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony. As artistic director of the John Duffy Institute for New Opera (2014-2020), she guided a faculty of practicing professional artists in nurturing and production of new opera by American composers. Larsen’s 2017 biography, “Libby Larsen: Composing an American Life” by author Denise Von Glahn, is available from the University Illinois Press. 

Otterbein’s relationship with Larsen began in 2007, when the University hosted the Festival of Women’s Music with Larsen as a featured composer. She composed a piece, “Tatterdemalion,” for a group of faculty and student performers to perform during the festival. 

Larsen’s new commissioned piece, “Look to this Day,” will be performed by Otterbein’s Concert Choir at the April 4 concert. Otterbein students and faculty will perform other works by Larsen as soloists, duets, quartets, and more. The concert and commissioned composition have been made possible by support from The Westerville Fund of The Columbus Foundation.  

About the Series: The Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecture and Scholar-in-Residence program is celebrating 20 years of bringing high-profile scholars and speakers to Otterbein’s campus to discuss contemporary issues and topics. The Series was established in 2002 through a generous gift from alumnus Vernon L. Pack, a 1950 graduate of the University. A distinguished lecturer visits campus to address important current issues that will allow the Otterbein community to reflect on ethical, spiritual and social issues. In alternate years, an esteemed scholar is invited to campus to reside for up to one academic year in order to provide an educational enrichment experience for Otterbein students. Learn more at