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May 9, 2013

A cappella wins a Pulitzer Prize

New York Times

Caroline Shaw, the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, isn’t quite ready to own up to what she does. “I don’t really call myself a composer,” she said, laughing, in an interview in her sunny studio apartment in Chelsea. “That’s what’s awkward about this whole thing: that’s not really what I call myself.”

Ms. Shaw would prefer to be known simply as a musician. And it was largely as a musician, a busy freelancer in New York, that she was known before Monday’s announcement that she had, at 30, become the award’s youngest winner, for “Partita for Eight Voices,” her dazzling, emotionally generous take on a Baroque dance suite.

The award citation praised “Partita” as “a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects.”

Jeremy Geffen, the director of artistic planning at Carnegie Hall and the chairman of this year’s Pulitzer jury, recalled: “We kept listening because we were required to. But also because none of us could see what was around the next corner.

“She changes gears so quickly and so easily, and every turn is so unexpected and so full of joy. And it’s in such a convincing and cohesive manner that you could never doubt the sense of architecture and the sense of premeditation.” Read more.

Posted by acapnews at May 9, 2013 12:00 AM