Steve Reich, recently called “our greatest living composer” by The New York Times and “...the most original musical thinker of our time” by The New Yorker, has been awarded the $100,000 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
Established in 2004, the Nemmers Prize in Music Composition honors classical music composers of outstanding achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition.
Previous winners of the biennial award include John Adams (2004), Oliver Knussen (2006), Kaija Saariaho (2008), John Luther Adams (2010), Aaron Jay Kernis (2012) and Esa-Pekka Salonen (2014).
“I am delighted and honored to receive the 2016 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music,” Reich said. “It is particularly gratifying to be honored in this way by a school of music that demonstrates such passionate commitment to the study, composition and performance of new music. I look forward to my two residencies at Northwestern for concerts of my music in 2017."
Reich’s Bienen School of Music residencies, planned during the next two academic years in February and November 2017, will feature three concerts of his music performed by the Bienen School’s Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME), Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble (BCE) and Percussion Ensemble. Reich also will engage in other activities, such as coaching student ensembles, meeting with student composers and participating in moderated discussions.
“The Bienen School of Music is pleased that the awarding of the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize to Mr. Reich coincides with his 80th birthday celebration,” said Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the Bienen School of Music. “This prize, along with the activities of our Institute for New Music and performances by our various student ensembles, contribute to the school’s focus on presenting world-class contemporary music to Northwestern University and broader Chicago-area audiences.”
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