Composers Spratlan and Soper receive American Academy prizes totaling $90K

Posted on: April 14, 2016

“The American Academy of Arts and Letters has awarded major cash prizes to composer/performer Kate Soper and to composer Lewis Spratlan and librettist James Maraniss for their opera Life Is a Dream,” writes Robert Egerton on Wednesday (4/13) at “Soper receives the $40,000 Virgil Thomson Award for Vocal Music, funded by the foundation that bears his name; Spratlan and Maraniss receive the $50,000 Charles Ives Opera Prize, funded by royalties from that seminal composer’s music. The sums of $35,000 go to the composer and $15,000 to the librettist. Both prizes have only been awarded one time before: the Thomson Award in 2014 to composer Lowell Liebermann, the Ives prize in 2008, to composer Stephen Hartke and librettist Philip Littell for The Greater Good.… Recipients are selected by jury from nominations by composer members of the Academy.… Soper often uses literary texts in her works, including those by Lydia Davis, Jorie Graham, Franz Kafka, and Aristotle…. Life is a Dream was written in 1978 and received the Pulitzer Prize for a concert version of the second act in 2000. But the full staging of the work wasn’t until 2010, by the Santa Fe Opera.”

Posted April 14, 2016