It’s hard enough delivering an orchestra commission when you’re hale and hearty; but despite losing most of his vision during the course of its lengthy gestation (2001-06) York Höller managed to complete his work Sphären. His efforts amidst considerable adversity have garnered him the 2010 Grawemeyer Award.
Although now almost completely blind, Höller continues to compose. Abetted by assistants, samplers, and a new software called Jaws, he is soldiering on. One hopes that the Grawemeyer’s $200,000 prize will assist in this endeavor.
So, composers, next time you’re planning to tell your commissioner why the piece isn’t done, you’ll need a pretty good excuse: Höller has upped the ante!
Hear Sphären at Boosey’s website.