Archive for the “Awards” Category

sebastian1.jpgSebastian Currier has won the 2007 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for “Static,” a six-movement piece for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

Currier, who teaches at Columbia University, studied at the Manhattan and Julliard schools of music. His winning work was commissioned by Copland House of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., for its resident ensemble, Music from Copland House, with funds from Meet the Composer, a national organization supporting new works by composers.

The ensemble premiered the piece at Columbia’s Miller Theatre in February 2005 and recorded it for Koch International Classics.  Frank has details over at NewMusicBox.

And speaking of Mr. Oteri, he’s mad as hell about the second-class citizenship of post-classical composers and he’s not going to take it anymore…in the Composers Forum.

Comments 3 Comments »

  • Classical Vocal Performance: “Rilke Songs,” Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Peter Serkin), track from Lieberson: Rilke Songs, The Six Realms, Horn Concerto.
  • Classical Contemporary Composition: “Golijov: Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears,” Osvaldo Golijov (Robert Spano).
  • Opera Recording: “Golijov: Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears,” Robert Spano, conductor, Kelley O’Connor and Dawn Upshaw; Valerie Gross and Sid McLauchlan, producers (Women of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra).
  • Producer of the Year, Classical: Elaine Martone.
  • Classical Album: “Mahler: Symphony No. 7,” Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor, Andreas Neubronner, producer (San Francisco Symphony).
    Classical Crossover Album: “Simple Gifts,” Bryn Terfel (London Voices; London Symphony Orchestra).
  • Engineered Album, Classical: “Elgar: Enigma Variations; Britten: the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Four Sea Interludes,” Michael Bishop, engineer (Paavo Jarvi and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra).
    Orchestral Performance: “Mahler: Symphony No. 7,” Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony).
  • Choral Performance: “Part: Da Pacem,” Paul Hillier, conductor (Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir).
  • Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance(with Orchestra): “Messiaen: Oiseaux Exotiques (Exotic Birds),” John McLaughlin Williams, conductor; Angelin Chang (Cleveland Chamber Symphony).
  • Instrumental Soloist Performance(without Orchestra): “Chopin: Nocturnes,” Maurizio Pollini.
  • Chamber Music Performance: “Intimate Voices,” Emerson String Quartet
  • Small Ensemble Performance: “Padilla: Sun of Justice,” Peter Rutenberg, conductor (Los Angeles Chamber Singers’ Cappella).

Comments 8 Comments »


We’re a little late in reporting this, but last month composer George Tsontakis was awarded the Charles Ives Living by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. I had never heard of this prize before, but it’s a sweet deal. Tsontakis receives $75,000. each year for three years provided that he forgo all normal paid work. He may, however, accept commissions. The Charles Ives Living was established by Ives’s widow with royalties from her late husband’s music. This round the selection committee was chaired by none other than William Bolcom. The previous three winners were Stephen Hartke, Chen Yi, and Martin Bresnick

Can we agree that between this and the Grawemeyer Tsontakis is on a serious roll these days? I think we can.

Otherwise things look pretty quiet here today. I’m taking over the daily post here for two weeks as Jerry sees to some Top Secret S21 Business. Stay tuned . . .

Comments 3 Comments »

From the CBC:

Toronto composer James Rolfe has won the $7,500 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music for his contemporary work raW, the Canada Council for the Arts announced Thursday.

raW, written during the buildup to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, won the award designed to encourage the creation of new Canadian chamber music. It was chosen from a field of 115 new compositions.

The work “was written by filtering J. S. Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto through Bob Marley’s War (first movement), Burning Spear’s The Invasion (second movement), and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever (third movement),” Rolfe said. 

Does anybody remember who I gave Lee Hyla’s latest CD to review?  Hope it wasn’t Evan since he’s wandered off somewhere until February. If it was somebody else, please review it because I promised.  

I have a bunch of new stuff lying around although some of you still owe me from last year.  How about this one:  John Cage’s Postcard from Heaven for 1-20 harps?


Comments 5 Comments »

It’s that time of the year again, folks, when composers around the world turn their attention to Los Angeles, with bated breath, waiting to hear who is, in fact, the greatest composer in America and the world this year. Who has advanced the art, who has raised the human spirit, who has earned his (yes, pretty much always, it’s his) place in musical history.

That’s right, it’s Grammy time.

And the nominees for “Best Classical Contemporary Composition” [sic] are:

Boston Concerto
Elliott Carter
(Oliver Knussen)
Track from: The Music Of Elliott Carter, Vol. Seven
[Bridge Records, Inc.]

Golijov: Ainadamar: Fountain Of Tears
Osvaldo Golijov
(Robert Spano)
[Deutsche Grammophon]

The Here And Now
Christopher Theofanidis
(Robert Spano)
Track from: Del Tredici: Paul Revere’s Ride; Theofanidis: The Here And Now; Bernstein: Lamentation

Paul Revere’s Ride
David Del Tredici
(Robert Spano)
Track from: Del Tredici: Paul Revere’s Ride; Theofanidis: The Here And Now; Bernstein: Lamentation

A Scotch Bestiary
James MacMillan
(James MacMillan)
Track from: MacMillan: A Scotch Bestiary, Piano Concerto No. 2

Place your bets.

Comments 9 Comments »

The always reliable Pliable tells me that Charles Griffin’s Sequenza21 blog From the Faraway Nearby: An American Composer in Latvia was chosen blog of the week (or some such) by no less than The Times in London.  He couldn’t find a Times link online and neither can I but if someone comes across it, pass it along.  Maybe this will encourage Charles to do a second post.

My copy of the Gramophone Awards 2006 arrived by post this week and I was somewhat bemused to discover that my local radio station, WQXR – The Classical Station of the New York Times, has now created (at considerable marketing expense, I expect) a sub-category called The 96.3 WQXR Gramophone Awards 2006, selected by a committee of worthies like Frank J. Oteri, Alex Ross, Greg Sandow, a couple of guys from Gramophone, and “members of the Programming Department of WQXR.”

The winners are all highly commendable, if a little predictable–Peter Lieberson’s Rilke Songs on Bridge; Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre on DG, and Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations) on Nonesuch.  There was also a special recognition award for Mark Morris.

My question for the distinguished panel is this:  Have “members of the Programming Department of WQXR” ever scheduled any of the winning CDs to actually be played–in whole, or in part–on the station?  Frankly, I doubt it, with the possible exception of the Lieberson which they might have played late at night or on weekends when they thought nobody was listening.  Here’s a typical playlist.

Anybody want to be the main Sequenza21 New York reviewer of live concerts?  We can get a couple of free tickets to most concerts here in town but so far finding someone (or two) who wants to cover new music in New York the way Jerry Zinser does Los Angeles, has been difficult.   

For example, I’d love to have a marthon blogger who could go to all three nights of Joe Rubinstein’s Keys to the Future Festival of contemporary piano music and write about each of the concerts and give us a sense of what’s new and exciting in new piano works.  No money now, but if you’re really good at it, who knows? 

Speaking of someone who is really good, I just noticed that Steve Smith is now doing some concert and CD reviews for the New York Times.  (Maybe, he’s been doing it for awhile but I just noticed).  Nice work, Steve.

Comments 3 Comments »

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.

Comments 30 Comments »