Pulitzer Prize for music goes to composer Caroline Shaw


Composer Caroline Shaw has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for music for her a cappella composition “Partita for 8 Voices.”

The two finalists in the category this year were Aaron Jay Kernis for “Pieces of Winter Sky” and Wadada Leo Smith for “Ten Freedom Summers.”

“Partita for 8 Voices” was released in October by New Amsterdam Records, featuring the vocal group Roomful of Teeth. On her website, Shaw states that the 26-minute piece was inspired by Sol LeWitt’s “Wall Drawing 305” and that it was written for Roomful of Teeth.


FULL COVERAGE: 2013 Spring arts preview

The four parts of the piece premiered individually from 2009 to 2011 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, according to the site.

Shaw is a New York-based composer and violinist who has performed with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble and as a vocalist with Roomful of Teeth.

“Partita is a simple piece,” the composer wrote on her site. “Born of a love of surface and structure, of the human voice, of dancing and tired ligaments, of music, and of our basic desire to draw a line from one point to another.”

This year’s jury for the music category was led by Jeremy Geffen, director of artistic planning at Carnegie Hall. The jury also included musician Muhal Richard Abrams, Swarthmore College professor Gerald Levinson, Harvard University professor Carol Oja and Chicago tribune jazz critic Howard Reich.

Last year’s winner in the music category was the opera “Silent Night” by Kevin Puts.


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