John Corigliano Wins Pulitzer Prize

John Corigliano
John Corigliano
Photo by Julian Kreeger courtesy G. Schirmer

John Corigliano has won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Symphony No. 2. Commissioned by the Boston Symphony to commemorate the centenary of Symphony Hall, the work is an expansion of the string quartet the composer wrote for the farewell tour of the Cleveland Quartet, in 1996. “I knew even as I was composing [the quartet] that the string writing had acquired a very orchestral quality,” wrote Corigliano in his program note for the symphony. “Just as Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge stretches quartet playing past its limits, so does my quartet stretch the players’ range, dynamics, emotional energy and technique.”

Corigliano bears the unique distinction of being the first composer since Aaron Copland to have won both the Academy Award and the Pulitzer Prize. For more information on John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 2, click here.

The other finalists for the prize in music were Tituli by Stephen Hartke, premiered on Jan. 15, 2001, at Alfred Newman Recital Hall, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and Time After Time by Fred Lerdahl, premiered on Dec. 12, 2000, at Merkin Hall in New York City.

For more on Fred Lerdahl and Time After Time, please click here.

For more on Stephen Hartke and Tituli, please click here.

The five members of the jury for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Music consisted of three composers who have previously won the Prize: Robert Ward (Chairman), professor emeritus of music, Duke University [The Crucible, 1962]; John Harbison, Institute Professor of Music, Massachusetts Institute of Technology [The Flight into Egypt, 1987]; Shulamit Ran, professor of music, University of Chicago [Symphony, 1991]; as well as composer David N. Baker, distinguished professor and chair of Jazz Studies Department, University of Indiana, and Washington Post culture critic Tim Page, who was awarded the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. The Pulitzer Prize in Music comes with a $7500 award.