One of the finalists for this year's Pulitzer Prize in Music was a piece introduced last March down the Thruway. “7 Etudes for Solo Piano,” by Don Byron was premiered last March in Hallwall’s Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo.
But Byron didn't win. Steve Reich did. Steve Reich
Steve Reich's Double Sextet is "a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear." That's according to the Pulitzer Prize committee, which awarded Reich the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Double Sextet.
"The piece can be played in two ways," Reich told NPR Monday. "Either with 12 musicians or with six playing against a recording of themselves."
After hearing about the award, Reich said, "While they certainly gave it to composers, like, eventually, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, John Adams ... there were a lot of very important people that they passed over who were not university types, and I'm not a university type. There's a bend in the road that happened, and that undoubtedly was part of my being selected."
A friend of mine snapped this picture yesterday at a local antiques co-op. The shelf behind the hand-written sign was lined with well-worn children's books of no particular value. At first, my friend thought the seller must be an incredible book snob to post such a notice. Then he had another thought, that the books might contain material some might find offensive. If I'd been there, I would have asked the seller directly. Other theories?
There is a new magazine devoted to classical music, and it's based out of the United States (unlike Grammphone or BBC, which come to us from overseas). This has the potential to really set a course of what "classical music" means in America. I've got my thoughts, and I'd love to hear yours!