PRIZE AWARDED FOR SECOND CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA, PREMIERED IN MARCH 2004 BY THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
The work was commissioned for the inaugural season of Walt Disney Concert Hall, and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the hall on March 12, 2004, under the direction of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.
"The Second Concerto was a special piece for me, because it very consciously celebrates the musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Frank Gehry and Walt Disney Concert Hall," said Stucky. "I am delighted that my colleagues on this year's jury found my work worthy of competing at this level, and honored to see my name added to a roster that includes the likes of Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, Charles Ives and John Adams."
"It went to the right man," said Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen. "Steven is one of the most important composers in the world today and it is about time that is recognized as such. He is one of the few masters of musical form today, following in the footsteps of Beethoven, Brahms, Stravinsky and Lutoslawski. He has managed to combine directness of expression with a very developed sense of musical form and gesture like almost no one else today," he added.
"Steven Stucky has been so many things to us in his more than 16-year association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic: advisor and friend, as well as teacher and advocate. But first and foremost, he is a composer with a truly original voice. We are proud and pleased that the Pulitzer committee has recognized Steven's work and we are honored to be part of his musical life," Philharmonic Association President Deborah Borda said.
The $10,000 prize is given for a "distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American that has had its first performance in the United States during the year." The other finalists were two-time
winner Elliott Carter for Dialogues, which was debuted by the Chicago Contemporary Music Ensemble in June, and Steve Reich for You Are (Variations), premiered by the Los Angeles Master Chorale in October.
Born in 1949, composer Steven Stucky has been associated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for more than 16 years (the longest composer residency of any American orchestra). First appointed Composer in Residence by André Previn in 1988, Stucky works closely with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen on programming and commissioning in his current post of Consulting Composer for New Music. Stucky is also active as a writer, lecturer, and teacher, and he is a well-known expert on the music of the late Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski. He has taught at Cornell University since 1980, where he serves as Given Foundation Professor of Composition, and where he chaired the Music Department from 1992 to 1997. He has also taught at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Eastman School of Music, and University of California, Berkeley, where he was the Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor.
First awarded in 1943, the Pulitzer music prize has gone to such major works as Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring (1945), Samuel Barber's Vanessa, and John Adams' On the Transmigration of Souls (2003), as well as more obscure pieces. In 2004, Paul Moravec won for Tempest Fantasy, a chamber work for violin, piano, cello, and clarinet.
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Adam Crane, 213.972.3422