John Zorn is officially a genuis. The 53-year-old composer, improviser, saxophonist, provocateur, and ardent promoter of experimental music through his Tzadik recording label, was one of 25 new MacArthur Fellows named today. Like his fellow honorees, Zorn will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. Unlike most other awards, MacArthur winners don’t apply but are picked by a secret committee of “experts.” One day you get phone call that says you don’t have to worry about next month’s rent.
The award notes that Zorn is a “largely self-taught artist who, since the mid-1970s, has been at the center of what has come to be called “downtown” music, based on his residence and collaborations in lower Manhattan.”
Speaking for the S21 community (always a dangerous thing to do), let me offer a hearty “Nice going, Johnny.”
Speaking of genius, Christina Fong posted some thoughts on that very subject a few days ago.