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Meredith Monk and Michel van der Aa receive awards from esteemed organizations

Trailblazing composers Meredith Monk and Michel van der Aa, known for their unique approaches to performance and experimentation, have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to music and compositional philosophy.

Last year, it was announced that Meredith Monk was selected as New Music USA’s 2013 Founders Award recipient. An awards ceremony will be held at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, NY on Monday, May 13 where she will receive the honor. Established in 1999, the Founders Award is the organization’s highest honor, "recognizing those who throughout their career have demonstrated extraordinary breadth and depth of impact on American music in national life." The Award is named for the six founders of the American Music Center: Aaron Copland, Howard Hansen, Marion Bauer, Otto Luening, Quincy Porter, and Harrison Kerr (for more information, click here).

Meredith Monk was named Musical America's 2012 "Composer of the Year", and has received numerous awards including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, sixteen ASCAP Awards for Musical Composition, the 2005 ASCAP Concert Music Award, the Demetrio Stratos Award in 2007, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. Pioneering a new approach to vocal performance in the 1960s, Monk explored techniques that resulted in a series of works that she wrote (and performed) for both accompanied and unaccompanied voice. In 1978, she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to further expand her musical textures and forms. She has since been commissioned to write for Michael Tilson Thomas’s New World Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony, and for the Kronos Quartet, among others.

Another composer on the Boosey & Hawkes roster, Michel van der Aa, has also recently garnered attention as the second recipient of the Mauricio Kagel Music Prize. Awarded by the North Rhine-Westphalia Arts Foundation, the Mauricio Kagel Music Prize is given to internationally renowned musicians whose work, like Kagel’s own, experiments with interdisciplinary concepts and techniques (for more information, click here). The prize is worth a total of €50,000, of which €20,000 is to be used to fund a new project for the North Rhine-Westphalia region. It is the second major international prize to have been won by Van der Aa in just a few months, following his receipt of the University of Louisville’s 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Up-Close, his cello concerto with film.

Michel van der Aa’s newest opera Sunken Garden was recently premiered by the English National Opera in London. Using video footage and 3D technology, Van der Aa pushes the frontier of traditional opera with his recent compositions. Of the production, the Evening Standard called it “a remarkable fusion of sound and visuals, complete with stunning 3D imagery. Described as a ‘film opera,’ the Sunken Garden certainly stretches the boundaries of the genre." The New York Times raved that it is “unquestionably a bold, rewarding venture that demands consideration."

Photo: Marco Borggreve / Jessie Froman

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