Lewis and Meyer Among 2002 MacArthur Fellows

Lewis and Meyer Among 2002 MacArthur Fellows

Two composers—George Lewis and Edgar Meyer—are among this year’s 24 new MacArthur Fellows. Under the auspices of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation each will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. The awards recognize individuals from a range of fields who have brought extraordinary dedication and originality to their work.

George Lewis
Professor of Music
University of California,
San Diego
La Jolla, CA
Age: 50

Trombonist and composer bridging traditions and opening wide frontiers in experimental music.


Edgar Meyer
Bassist and Composer
Nashville, TN
Age: 41

Bassist and composer fusing classical and bluegrass styles to create an expansive repertoire of American music.

*Read an in-depth interview with Meyer here

MacArthur Fellows 1981—2002: Music

(Courtesy the MacArthur Foundation)

Babbitt, Milton
Blake, Ran
Braxton, Anthony
Coleman, Ornette
Eaton, John C.
Harbison, John
Hough, Stephen
Khan, Ali Akbar
Lacy, Steve
Lewis, George
Meyer, Edgar
Nancarrow, Conlon
Perle, George
Reagon, Bernice Johnson
Roach, Max
Russell, George
Schuller, Gunther
Shapey, Ralph
Sheng, Bright
Taylor, Cecil
Vandermark, Ken
Williams, Marion
Wuorinen, Charles

Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the MacArthur Foundation, noted that as the foundation approaches its twenty-fifth year, “the announcement of the new class of MacArthur Fellows serves as a reminder of the importance of the creative individual in American society…In all our programs, we are committed to nurturing those who are a source of new knowledge and ideas, have the courage to challenge inherited orthodoxies and to take intellectual, scientific, and cultural risks.”

Daniel J. Socolow, Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, added that the annual announcement also “provides a fresh opportunity to reflect on the nature and spectrum of creative activity around us.” And that the new Fellows represent “extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Since there is no application or interview process associated with the awards (they are nominated by an anonymous panel), many recipients are not aware they are being considered until they receive a phone call from the foundation informing them of their award. Including this year’s fellows, 635 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82, have been named MacArthur Fellows since the inception of the program in 1981.

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