Category: Music Composition

2005 – George Tsontakis

American composer George Tsontakis has been selected to receive the prestigious 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his Violin Concerto No. 2. Described by one music critic as “a work of gentle beauty and intriguing orchestral sounds,” Tsontakis’s 20-minute concerto received its world premiere April 19, 2003, by Steven Copes, violin, […]

2004 – Unsuk Chin

Composer Unsuk Chin’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” has won the 2004 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Premiered in Berlin in January 2002 by violinist Viviane Hagner and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester conducted by Kent Nagano, the 25-minute concerto has been described as “a synthesis of glittering orchestration, rarefied sonorities, volatility of […]

2003 – Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho of Finland won the $200,000 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for 2003 for her first opera, “L`amour de loin,” (love from afar). It premiered in August 2000 at the Salzburg Festival, directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Kent Nagano. “L`amour de loin” is based on the story of the […]

2002 – Aaron Jay Kernis

One of America’s most honored young composers, Aaron Jay Kernis, has won the world’s top international music composition prize, the 2002 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Kernis won the $200,000 prize for “Colored Field,” a concerto written for cello and orchestra and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000. An earlier version […]

2001 – Pierre Boulez

French composer and champion of 20th Century music Pierre Boulez has won the 2001 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The $200,000 Grawemeyer Award is considered the top prize in international music composition. Boulez received the award for “Sur Incises,” a 40-minute chamber work written for three pianos, three harps and three percussionists. […]

2000 – Thomas Adès

Thomas Adès has experienced a meteoric rise to international musical prominence. Since his first public piano performance in 1993 at the age of 22, his versatility as pianist, conductor and composer has inspired comparisons to Beethoven, Mozart, Purcell and Britten. His four-movement, large-scale orchestral work “Asyla” earned him the $200,000 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award […]

1998 – Tan Dun

Through his opera “Marco Polo,” composer Tan Dun takes his audience along for the explorer’s legendary travels from Italy to China. He also takes the audience on a spiritual quest reflecting the three states of the human being — past, present and future — and the cycle of nature. And he takes the listener on […]

1997 – Simon Bainbridge

An orchestral work inspired by the poems of a Holocaust survivor captured the 1997 award. British composer Simon Bainbridge intertwined his music with the poetry of Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi in “Ad Ora Incerta — Four Orchestral Songs from Primo Levi,” which was selected from among 181 entries for the $150,000 Grawemeyer prize. The work […]

1996 – Ivan Tcherepnin

A concerto written by composer Ivan Tcherepnin for violinist Lynn Chang and cellist Yo-Yo Ma captured the 1996 award. Tcherepnin’s “Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra,” a 23-minute work premiered by the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras June 3, 1995, was selected from 173 entries to receive the $150,000 Grawemeyer prize. Tcherepnin described the […]

1995 – John Adams

John Adams “Violin Concerto” was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York City Ballet and the London Symphony Orchestra. The Minnesota Orchestra, under conductor Edo de Waart and featuring violinist Jorja Fleezanis, performed its world premiere Jan. 19, 1994. Composed in three movements, the 33-minute work is a free-flowing showpiece for violin that changes […]