Composer Unsuk Chin, who is writing works for the 2004 Ojai Festival and for L.A. Opera’s 2005-06 season, has won the prestigious 2004 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.
The South Korean-born composer won the $200,000 prize for her Violin Concerto, given its premiere in January 2002 by violinist Viviane Hagner and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester conducted by Kent Nagano. Chin has served as composer in residence for that orchestra.
Nagano is also music director of the Ojai Festival. He has commissioned Chin to write a work for soprano and orchestra for the festival and an opera based on “Alice in Wonderland” for L.A. Opera.
In selecting the four-movement Violin Concerto from a field of 153 nominations from Asia, Europe and the Americas, the Grawemeyer jury described the work as “a synthesis of glittering orchestration, rarefied sonorities, volatility of expression, musical puzzles and unexpected turns.” The award has been given since 1985.
-- Chris Pasles