Columbia University’s School of the Arts has given John Zorn the William Schuman Award, a major recognition given periodically over the past twenty-five years.
Named for its first recipient William Schuman, the award, in the form of a direct, unrestricted grant of $50,000, is one of the largest to an American composer. In the language of the gift establishing the prize, the purpose of the William Schuman Award is “to recognize the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance.” It is awarded by the Dean of the School of the Arts at Columbia University. The award was established in 1981 by a bequest from the Schuman family. Previous winners have included Schuman, David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, Milton Babbitt, and Hugo Weisgall, and, most recently in 2001, Steve Reich.
I don’t think that Zorn is quite in that league but, hey, what do I know?