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BMI Classical Composer Kernis Wins Prestigious Award

Posted in News on December 10, 2001

Hearty congratulations to BMI classical composer Aaron Jay Kernis, who was named the winner of the 2002 Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition. The $200,000 award, presented annually by the University of Louisville and named for alumnus and philanthropist H. Charles Grawemeyer, was given for Kernis's "Colored Field" (Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra).

Originally composed in 1994 as a concerto for English horn and orchestra for the San Francisco Symphony with soloist Julie Ann Giacobassi, this new transcription of "Colored Field" was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra. The piece was premiered last season by Eiji Oue with cellist Truls M�rk and was also recorded on Virgin Records.

Aaron Jay Kernis, a three-time BMI Student Composer Award winner, is also the recipient of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His winning work, "String Quartet No. 2, 'musica instrumentalis'," was premiered by the Lark String Quartet on January 10, 1998 at New York City's Merkin Hall. That same year, BMI also presented him with a Special Citation of Achievement for "outstanding contributions to the world of classical music." Kernis received his earliest recognition from BMI at age 17. Now 41, he has been performed and commissioned by many of the world's most prestigious orchestras and chamber music groups.