Pulitzer Prize in Music goes to avant-jazz composer Henry Threadgill

Posted on: April 19, 2016

On Monday, the Pulitzer Prize in Music was awarded to “composer-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill … for his brilliant album of 2015, ‘In for a Penny, In for a Pound,’ ” writes Howard Reich in Monday’s (4/19) Chicago Tribune. The other music finalists were The Blind Banister by Timo Andres, a three-movement piece for chamber orchestra commissioned by St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; and The Mechanics: Six From the Shop Floor by Carter Pann, a suite that imagines its four saxophonists as mechanics engaged in rhythmic interplay. “Threadgill has spent an illustrious career forging an intensely personal musical language that transcends stylistic boundaries and traditional ways of organizing sound.… [In] 1997 … Wynton Marsalis’ ‘Blood on the Fields’ became the first jazz composition to win a Pulitzer…. Since [then] the prize has reverted mostly to classical idioms, with the occasional exception.… Leading his band Zooid in an impossible-to-categorize six-movement suite, Threadgill, 72, conceived ‘In for a Penny’ as a malleable composition featuring ‘four quintets plus one (alto saxophone, flute, bass flute)’ … the music continuously changing sonic shape, flow and direction.”

Posted April 19, 2016