Fred Hersch’s ‘My Coma Dreams’ to Be Performed at Columbia University

Performance is inspired by composer’s near-death experience

Columbia University’s Program in Narrative Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons will present pianist/composer My Coma Dreams by the Fred Hersch Ensemble at the school’s Miller Theatre. Performances, the first time the work will be presented in New York City, are scheduled for March 2-3.

My Coma Dreams is described in a press release as “an extraordinary jazz theater piece that explores the dividing line between life and death.” The work is based on eight dreams and nightmares experienced by Hersch during a two-month AIDS-related coma in summer 2008. According to the release, “Hersch’s dream stories have been shaped into a continuous narrative by Grammy® Award-winning writer/director Herschel Garfein that illuminates an extraordinary journey to the dividing line between life and death.”

Hersch will lead an ensemble of instrumentalists and actor Michael Winther will narrate, sing and play the dual roles of Fred and his partner, Scott. Animation artist Sarah Wickliffe contributes visual imagery.

Performances of My Coma Dreams are Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 with Columbia University ID, and $45 for the general public.

For more information about My Coma Dreams, visit or call 212-854-7799.

Miller Theatre is located on the Columbia University campus, 2960 Broadway, New York City.