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Thread: Caroline Shaw

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Default Caroline Shaw

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned that 2013 Pulitzer Prize in music was awarded to Ms. Caroline Shaw for her Partita for 8 Voices:

    http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2013-Music

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/a...ion=topstories

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,2637501.story

    http://www.billboard.com/biz/article...er-music-prize

    At just 30 she is the youngest composer to receive the Pulitzer Prize in music. She is currently working on her doctorate in composition at Princeton. After winning the Pulitzer, they should just give her the degree.

    You Tube of Partita. Note: Ms Shaw is one of the singers. I think she is the third from the left.



    Link to her website: http://carolineshaw.com/o/
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    I've had a couple of listens at an interval and I'm not that impressed by this, it certainly wouldn't have won a prize from me. The ideas or their development don't interest me much. The piece has some atmosphere, but perhaps that is the easiest thing to create in music. Well done for her in convincing people that 5 minutes 39 of that is worth getting a prize and whatever money she got, she obviously has persuasive powers. But hopefully her music can be better than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starry View Post
    I've had a couple of listens at an interval and I'm not that impressed by this, it certainly wouldn't have won a prize from me. The ideas or their development don't interest me much. The piece has some atmosphere, but perhaps that is the easiest thing to create in music. Well done for her in convincing people that 5 minutes 39 of that is worth getting a prize and whatever money she got, she obviously has persuasive powers. But hopefully her music can be better than that.
    The whole piece is actually in four (?) movements. I haven't listened to it outside of the above excerpt, but I get the impression there's more under the surface than is immediately apparent. I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the Pulitzer's choices, usually (Adams' 9/11 piece is one of his worst, in my opinion, and I fail to understand why people love Higdon's Violin Concerto), but the composers they give prizes to are usually worthy of recognition.

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    Composers they've never given prizes to may be worthy of recognition too. The rest of the piece may interest me more then (I hope) but I didn't hear much that excited me in that part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starry View Post
    Composers they've never given prizes to may be worthy of recognition too.
    This, of course, goes without saying, but it needs to be said all the same.

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    And I've no doubt there are other prizes that are at least as valid as well, I don't see why the Pullitzer (which for a long time only limited itself to American composers anyway and mainly still does I guess) should be given that much prominence. I tend to listen to composers not because they have won any prize anyway, but just because I like to hear somebody I haven't heard before. Anyway I'm sure many, probably most, feel similar.

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Question Pulitzer proceedures?

    The Pulitzer is decided by a committee. I will concede that a different committee could have picked something different and they do not always make a good choice. Anyone could go to the Pulitzer sight and see who is on the committee.

    http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2013-Music

    This year the judges were:

    Jeremy Geffen, director, artistic planning, Carnegie Hall, New York City (Chair)
    Muhal Richard Abrams, pianist and composer, New York City
    Gerald Levinson, Jane Lang Professor of Music, dept. of music and dance, Swarthmore College
    Carol Oja, William Powell Mason Professor of Music, Harvard University
    Howard Reich, jazz critic, Chicago Tribune

    Also the composer has to submit his work to the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University for consideration. See: http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter

    This years finalist were:

    Aaron Jay Kernis for "Pieces of Winter Sky," and Wadada Leo Smith for "Ten Freedom Summers," an expansive jazz work that memorializes 10 key moments in the history of civil rights in America.

    Are there works that were never submitted that were better? Who knows? It would be extremely difficult to second guess the jury unless we were familier with the other works that were submitted.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    Even those on a commitee will disagree most if not all of the time, and so would have to come to a consensus or majority choice. Of course the comparison between nominated works is debatable, that between every work composed or finished that year is impossible to debate as nobody could hear everything.

    Anyway beyond the vagaries of what deserves to win (however that may be assessed), the main question is whether a work fully deserves more recognition or not. I guess time is the judge on that, but I'll make my own judgement in the meantime.

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    I am more rather surprised anyone pays much serious attention as to whom the Pulitzer is awarded.... Though Ms. Shaw has at least the distinction of knocking Charles Wuorinen out as the youngest winner of the prize: Wuorinen won the Pulitzer in 1970, age 32.

    One look at the more recent changes in policy, a fair debacle of opposed aims, and a 'dispersion' of awards to various genres formerly not included as eligible, says oceans about what any of us might think about, or what credibility, we might deem the Pulitzer prize to have.

    Even prior these relatively recent shifts of emphasis, another look at the winners of the past shows works and composers who had but a brief moment in the sun. Academic, or now bending over backwards to be more populist, it is anything but 'reliable' as to whom, and what, has received the prize.

    If I am not mistaken, along with the dispersion of creating different categories not before considered, I believe the amount of the money awarded is now less than it has been in the past -- that could be incorrect, so if anyone knows better, please correct me.

    There was at least one award where the 'other' Pulitzer officials nullified the jury's choice, and instead awarded the prize to a sort of 'runner up' under consideration, those officials saying they also wanted the prize to reflect 'people's choice' or something such vs. the choice of an exclusively professional / academic jury.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_Music

    P.s. & btw -- One of the winners on that list was a Prof who taught a class I took.
    Last edited by PetrB; Apr-27-2013 at 05:07.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    I am more rather surprised anyone pays much serious attention as to whom the Pulitzer is awarded....
    Well that's pretty much what I've been saying. No problem with having a thread on her though, just like any other composer, but she can have one whether she wins any prize or not.

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    Caroline Shaw: Orange - Attaca Quartet

    The first full album of Shaw's compositions. Various elements (Beethovenian, baroque, post-minimal, ...) are mixed in a coherent way. Pizzicato is often used effectively. Pleasant listening.

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    I just listened to Orange--very entertaining!

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