Chicago conductor/composer Cliff Colnot wins 2016 Ditson award

Posted on: October 12, 2016

“Composer/conductor Cliff Colnot has been awarded the 2016 Alice M. Ditson Conductor’s Award for the advancement of American music, administered by Columbia University,” writes Susan Elliott on Tuesday (10/11) at (subscription required). “He was presented with the prize Saturday evening at the Harris Theater of Music and Dance during the six-day Chicago festival of new music known as Ear Taxi. The prize monies are but $5,000, but the alumni are impressive: James Levine, Gunther Schuller, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein are among those who have received the Ditson, est. in 1945. Colnot is assistant conductor for Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan [Orchestra], principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary MusicNOW series, and principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He frequently conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble and Eighth Blackbird, and served as assistant conductor under Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Academy. He’s also a composer of some note and an arranger.… Composer Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner professor of musical composition at Columbia and secretary of the Alice M. Ditson Fund, cited Colnot’s ‘superb musical ear, his ability to learn a new work quickly and rehearse it efficiently, and his instinct for finding just the right tempo and interpretive tone.’ ”

Posted October 12, 2016