Ellen Reid sitting on a couch.
Ellen Reid Wins 2019 Pulitzer Prize

Ellen Reid Wins 2019 Pulitzer Prize

p r i s m, an opera by Ellen Reid, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music. The annually awarded $15,000 prize is for a distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the previous year. The Pulitzer citation for p r i s m, which was a co-production of LA Opera and the PROTOTYPE Festival in New York City and features a libretto by Roxie Perkins, describes it as “a bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse.” (The award is the 2nd Pulitzer Prize for a work that was incubated by the PROTOTYPE Festival. The previous winner was Angel’s Bone by Du Yun, which received the prize in 2017.)

Here is NewMusicBox’s talk with Ellen Reid from earlier this year…

Click here to read a transcript of the entire conversation.

Also nominated as finalists for the 2019 music prize were: Still a 55-minute solo piano composition by James Romig inspired by the paintings of Clyfford Still that was released in a performance by Ashlee Mack on a CD recording issued by New World Records; and Sustain, a 35-minute orchestral work by Andrew Norman which was premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In addition, a special citation was awarded posthumously to Aretha Franklin.

The jury for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize was: Scott Cantrell, Classical Music Critic, Dallas, Texas (Chair); John V. Brown, Jr., Director, Jazz Program and Professor Of The Practice Of Music, Duke University; David Harrington, Artistic Director/Violinist, Kronos Quartet; and composer Raymond J. Lustig.


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