Steve Reich wins Pulitzer Prize in Music

Posted on: April 21, 2009

Monday (4/20) on NewMusicBox.com, Frank J. Oteri reports, “Steve Reich has been awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Double Sextet. The award, for distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the previous calendar year, comes with a $10,000 cash prize. … Double Sextet, published by Hendon Music/Boosey & Hawkes (BMI), was commissioned by eighth blackbird which premiered it on March 26, 2008 at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. The 22-minute work, completed in October 2007, is scored alternately for 6-piece ensemble (‘Pierrot plus percussion’: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion) and pre-recorded tape or 12-piece ensemble. The Pulitzer citation describes the piece as ‘a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear.’ ” Reich, 72, told the Los Angeles Times that the idea of having musicians play along to recordings of their sounds came out of his penchant for doubling instruments in his scores. Also nominated were Don Byron for Seven Etudes for Solo Piano, and Harold Meltzer for Brion.

Posted April 21, 2009

Photo credit: Wonge Bergmann