Born 16 November 1952 in Coos Bay, Oregon, Lauren Newton earned a degree in music at the University of Oregon. In 1974 Newton moved to Europe and continued her music studies with Sylvia Geszty at the conservatory in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1977 she joined Mathias Rüegg's Vienna Art Orchestra, touring widely with the group until 1989. Together with Bobby McFerrin, Jeanne Lee, Urszula Dudziak and Jay Clayton she formed the Vocal Summit in 1982 (CD, TV broadcasting, tour).
Lauren Newton's music is typically highly abstract, blending conventional technique with non-conventional vocal sounds. She also performs modern art music and teaches singers. After a guest professorship at the university for music and visual arts of Graz (Austria) and teaching positions at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, she was appointed in 2002 to a professorship for jazz singing and free improvisation at the Musikhochschule Luzern in Lucerne, Switzerland.
In 1983 Newton released her first solo album, Timbre (reissued on CD in 1998 as "Filigree"), which received a German Critics' Award. From 1983 to 1999 she worked with the Austrian poet Ernst Jandl. She performed Adriana Hölszky's Comment for Lauren and other works by Hans-Joachim Hespos, Bernd Konrad, Hannes Zerbe, and Wolfgang Dauner. In 1993 she performed Henning Schmiedt's adaptation for solo vocalist of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder. In 1998 she joined in the international conference Frau Musica (nova) at the conservatory in Cologne, Germany.
Among the musicians she has collaborated with are bassist Joëlle Léandre, guitarist Christy Doran, pianists Patrick Scheyder and Aki Takase, the Südpool-Ensemble (directed by Herbert Joos), Bernd Konrad, Peter Kowald, Jon Rose, Urs Leimgruber, Joachim Kühn, and the composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton.
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With the Vienna Art Orchestra
- The Minimalism of Erik Satie (Hat ART, 1984)