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Grawemeyer Discussion and Concert

New York City – On Friday afternoon, March 9, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, music critic Tim Page of The Washington Post hosted a panel discussion between five Grawemeyer-winning composers: John Corigliano (1991), Sebastian Currier (2007), Karel Husa (1993), Aaron Jay Kernis (2002), and Joan Tower (1990).

Grawemeyer Symposium: (left to right) Tim Page, Aaron Kernis, Sebastian Currier, Karel Husa John Corigliano, and Joan Tower.

Tim Page began with a quote from Virgil Thomson stating that to be an American composer, one must simply be in America and compose. All five composer/panelists contributed their thoughts on “style” and why American composers’ compositional voices are so varied. Following the discussion, moderator Tim Page took questions from the audience.

After the discussion, and a brief intermission, Karen Little presented a new publication that catalogs the first twenty years of submissions to the Grawemeyer award. Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition: The First Twenty Years, published by Scarecrow Press, contains scores from all submissions that were retained in the Grawemeyer collection until 2005.

2007 Grawemeyer winner Sebastian Currier talks about Static

Sebastian Currier gave a brief talk on his winning work Static, which was followed by a convincing performance by performers from the University of Louisville: Kathy Karr, flute; Dallas Tidwell, clarinet; J. Patrick Rafferty, violin; Marlene Ballena, cello; and Brenda Kee, piano.

Brenda Kee, piano; Kathy Karr, flute; Patrick Rafferty, violin; Dallas Tidwell, clarinet; and Marlene Ballena, cello, performing Static

Brave New World host Daniel Gilliam with Sebastian Currier.


Comment from zeno
Time: March 13, 2007, 5:17 pm

Thank you very much for this very informative article with photos. I will keep my eyes open for the Scarecrow Press book of scores.

Comment from Evan
Time: March 13, 2007, 5:31 pm

I will keep my eyes open for the Scarecrow Press book of scores.

It can be yours for the low, low price of $150.

Comment from Daniel
Time: March 13, 2007, 5:56 pm

Yeah! I’m not sure there’s going to be a miniature version either.

Comment from Eric Bruskin
Time: March 13, 2007, 6:28 pm

It’s not a book of scores. It’s just a catalogue. It might have a sample page from some of them, but that would be all. Heaven forbid they’d actually make the music AVAILABLE …

Comment from Eric Bruskin
Time: March 13, 2007, 6:29 pm

I meant the non-winners. I’m sure the winners are all published.

Comment from Eric Lin
Time: March 13, 2007, 6:38 pm

Actually, I think some of the scores are rental only (even the winners). So unless you happen to be around an academic library that has a perusal copy, some of the scores are actually not published for sale. So, yeah…someone fix the damn publishing system.

Comment from Carson Cooman
Time: March 13, 2007, 8:57 pm

Most all of them are for sale. The exceptions are these which are rental items only:

Harrison Birtwistle — The Mask of Orpheus (Universal)
Tan Dun — Marco Polo (Schirmer)
Aaron Jay Kernis — Colored Field (Schirmer)
Tcherepnin, Ivan — Double Concerto (Unpublished)

Scores of all the other works are available for sale (most as regular sales items, but a few such as the Chinary Ung as custom print) with the exception of the George Tsontakis “Violin Concerto No. 2″ and Unsuk Chin’s “Violin Concerto” which will be soon available, but are currently in preparation. (The Birtwistle is available for libraries only to purchase as custom-print, but not anybody else.)

Comment from Nathan Brock
Time: March 13, 2007, 11:02 pm

Of course, if you can get to Louisville, they’ve got the complete collection – winners and non-winners – in a special collection in the music library. You’d need permission to get into it, but it’s available to scholars.

Comment from Daniel Gilliam
Time: March 14, 2007, 10:17 am

And if you ever get to Louisville, look me up…

Comment from zeno
Time: March 14, 2007, 10:23 am

Evan, to the swift the laurels …. (blah blah)

I just paid Powell’s Books in Chicago $60
($90 – $30 credit for opening an Amazon
business credit card. And we are all business
people, aren’t we?)

It’s listed as ‘Used, As New’ .. . but we’ll have
to see. The last Amazon ‘Used, As New’ book
that I bought — for my wife as a gift — was pretty
dog-eared. (But no we didn’t return it, it was a
$75 Polish and Ukrainian art history catalogue
on sale for only $20.)

Let me know if you ever want to see the Scarecrow
Grawemeyer scores book, and can’t find it easily in
one of your local academic libraries.


I have owned, since June 1986, the vocal score to Mask
of Orpheus; though my studio ceiling once fell on
the three volumes. Anyone thinking of producing or
singing or conducting the work may contact me; but serious inquires only, please.