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Alex Ross on John Luther Adams


In a new article for The New Yorker, Alex Ross talks about the composer John Luther Adams and the influence Alaska has had on him and his music.

Henry Brant Dies at 94


Henry Brant, an adventurous American composer best known for his spatial music, in which the placement of performers on the stage and at carefully specified places around a concert hall is a crucial element, died on Saturday at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 94.
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Boulez: I'm Not Shy


Composer and conductor Pierre Boulez has endured poisonous rows on the new music scene and vilification in the press, yet he insists that disagreement is helpful, in this article from the Guardian.
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BBC Proms 2008 Announced


The 2008 Proms season has been announced, the first under new head of Proms Roger Wright. Along with a Stockhausen Day, there are BBC commissions for Simon Holt, Kenneth Hesketh, Karlheinz Stockhausen (a posthumous premiere), Jason Yarde, Gwilym Simcock, Stuart MacRae, Jonathan Harvey, Steven Stucky, and Anna Meredith (for the Last Night, which Roger Norrington conducts) and numerous UK premieres.

New work too loud for orchestra


Today's Guardian reports that a piece by Swedish-Israeli composer Dror Feiler's Halat Hisar (State of Siege), has been dropped from its programme by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, after its members claimed the music was so loud that it gave them ear problems and headaches.
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David Lang wins Pulitzer Prize


David Lang has won this year's Pulitzer Prize in music, with his The Little Match Girl Passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and available to listen to online here:

Runners up were “Meanwhile” by Stephen Hartke and “Concerto for Viola” by Roberto Sierra.

Alex Ross was a finalist for his book on 20th Century Music "The Rest is Noise" and bizarrely, the winner in the Feature Writing category was Gene Weingarten’s piece Pearls Before Breakfast, about Joshua Bell's busking attempts, which was widely condemned in the classical music world as a non-story.

Golijov wins $50,000 Vilcek Foundation Prize


Osvaldo Golijov has become the first composer to win the $50,000 Vilcek Foundation Prize. The Vilcek Foundation was launched in 2000 by Dr. Jan T. Vilcek and his wife, Marica, to honor significant achievements by U.S. immigrants in science, humanities and the arts.
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Saariaho wins 2008 $100,000 Nemmers Prize


The Northwestern University School of Music today (April 2) announced that Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is the 2008 winner of the $100,000 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition. The biennial award honors classical modern composers of outstanding achievement who have significantly affected the field of composition. Past winners include John Adams (2004) and Oliver Knussen (2006).

Saariaho was cited by the selection committee for “transforming avant-garde techniques into a world of luminous, shifting color and emotional depth, mirroring the human experience.”

As winner of the 2008 Nemmers Prize, Saariaho receives a cash award of $100,000 and during the 2009-10 season a performance of one of her works by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She also will be in residence at Northwestern University’s School of Music during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. Her first residency is scheduled for January 2009.

Kaija Saariaho said, “I am very honored to have received the Nemmers Prize. Awards of this rank are important because they recognize a composer’s life work and the great effort required to develop and deepen a musical style. I was especially happy to read the prize citation because it indicates that I have been successful in reaching some of my musical goals.”

Northwestern University School of Music Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery said, “Ms. Saariaho has extended both musical vocabulary and instrumental technique into a new language that is profoundly beautiful and highly personal. Our students and faculty look forward to welcoming her to the Evanston and Chicago communities.”

The anonymous, three-member Nemmers Prize committee that selected Saariaho comprised individuals of widely recognized stature in the international music community.

The Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition is made possible through a generous gift from the late Erwin E. Nemmers and Frederic E. Nemmers, who in 1994 enabled the creation of the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics and the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics, leading awards in those fields.

Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott dies aged 78


Alun Hoddinott , one of Wales's most prominent composers has died aged 78.
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ArtForm on Stockhausen


A major feature on Stockhausen from the magazine artforum

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