Don Byron

Not the university type

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 ReichSteve 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."
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