New Music News Wire

John Zorn Wins Columbia’s $50K Schuman Award

John Zorn
John Zorn
Photo courtesy Columbia University’s Miller Theatre

New York-based composer and saxophonist John Zorn will receive the William Schuman Award in a presentation on April 26 at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

Past Recipients

1981
William Schuman

1985
David Diamond

1989
Gunther Schuller

1992
Milton Babbitt

1995
Hugo Weisgall

2000
Steve Reich

An unrestricted gift of $50,000 given on no strict award schedule by Columbia University’s School of the Arts, the William Schuman Award is one of the largest prizes designated specifically for American composers. The award was established in 1981 in the name of its first recipient “to recognize the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance.”

Zorn performs regularly around the world with a variety of ensembles. In addition to his activities as a musician, Zorn is the founder and executive producer of the independent record label Tzadik, through which he continues to release several recordings each year. In 2006, he received a MacArthur Fellowship.

Thomas Hampson Honored by Society for American Music

Thomas Hampson, an American singer and long-time figure on the international opera stage, received an honorary membership in the Society for American Music on March 1 at the Society’s 2007 conference in Pittsburgh.

The Society chose to honor Hampson for his dedication to performing works by American composers and for his recent “Song of America” recital tour. His 1992 recording of songs by Stephen Foster is considered a definitive collection of that composer’s music, and his catalog of recordings includes music by a broad range of composers including Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and Ned Rorem.

Based at the University of Pittsburgh and home to the Stephen Foster Collection, the Society for American Music has named 29 honorary members since its inception in 1975. Past honorees include John Cage, Bill Monroe, Lou Harrison, Frederick Fennell, Libby Larson, and Oscar Peterson.

New World Records Acquires CRI Catalog

New World Records announced on March 2 that it has formally acquired the back catalog of Composers Recordings, Inc. (CRI), and is now distributing on-demand CD-R recordings of the material.

New World has already reissued CRI recordings devoted to music by Harry Partch, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Charles Ives, and Morton Feldman, as well as several collections of historic electronic music. Established in 1954 by composers Otto Luening, Douglas Moore, and Oliver Daniel, the founder of BMI’s concert music department., CRI issued nearly 400 LPs and as many CDs during its nearly half century in business. New World, founded in 1975, and CRI had been competitors for nearly 30 years as labels specializing in music by American composers. Since the closing of CRI in 2003, its extensive catalog has been mostly unavailable.

(Edited by Dave Allen)