Sebastian Currier Wins 2007 Grawemeyer Award

Classic Arts News   Sebastian Currier Wins 2007 Grawemeyer Award
Sebastian Currier, a composer and professor at Columbia University in New York, has won the 2007 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for Static, a six-movement work scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

He received the prize, which includes a $200,000 cash grant, during a special concert last night at Carnegie Hall presented by the University of Louisville School of Music (which administers the award) and featuring works by past Grawemeyer winners.

Static was commissioned by Copland House, a foundation headquartered at Aaron Copland's former home in New York state's Hudson River Valley. The work was premiered by the ensemble Music from Copland House at Columbia University's Miller Theatre in February of 2005; the same musicians have recorded the score for an all-Currier disc titled On the Verge which is scheduled for release next week.

Currier was born in 1959 in Pennsylvania and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island; his father was a violist, violinist and teacher and his mother and brother are composers as well. He has degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, where he studied under Milton Babbitt; he did further work at the Tanglewood Music Festival under George Perle. Among the awards he has won are the Rome Prize, a residency at the American Academy of Berlin, and Guggenheim, Tanglewood and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.

He has had works performed by the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; his music has been recorded by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Cassatt Quartet.

The Grawemeyer Foundation at the University of Louisville, founded by industrialist Charles Grawemeyer, awards five $200,000 prizes each year for outstanding works in music composition, education, ideas improving world order, religion and psychology.

The winner of last year's music Grawemeyer was Gy‹rgy Kurtšg; the 2005 winner was George Tsontakis. Among the previous recipients are Witold Lutoslawski (who won the inaugural award in 1985), Gy‹rgy Ligeti, John Corigliano, Krzysztof Penderecki, Toru Takemitsu, Tan Dun, Pierre Boulez, John Adams and Kaija Saariaho.

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