Composer Libby Larsen wins $50K McKnight Distinguished Artist award

Posted on: June 20, 2016

“For Minneapolis composer Libby Larsen, learning she won the 2016 McKnight Distinguished Artist award felt like the old TV show ‘This Is Your Life,’ ” writes Ross Raihala in Sunday’s (6/19) Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minnesota). “ ‘They surprise you with it,’ she said with a laugh.” Larsen was notified of the award “a few weeks back … [at] a morning meeting at the American Composers Forum in St. Paul, a nonprofit she co-founded in 1973…. Now in its 19th year, the award recognizes the 65-year-old Larsen for her more than 500 major works over the decades and her position as one of the country’s most-performed living composers…. It also comes with a $50,000 check…. In 1983, she was appointed composer-in-residence with the Minnesota Orchestra…. Two years later, she premiered her first symphony, ‘Water Music,’ with the orchestra under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner. She went on to create what the McKnight Foundation called ‘an adventurous and inventive collection of music unmistakably her own.’ … McKnight will honor Larsen at a private reception later this year.” Previous music winners of the award include composer Dominick Argento, choral conductor Dale Warland, and conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.

Posted June 20, 2016