Composer Osvaldo Golijov Named MacArthur Fellow

Posted in News on October 8, 2003
BMI classical composer Osvaldo Golijov has been named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Golijov, 42, is one of 24 grant recipients and will receive $500,000 of "no strings attached" funds over the next five years.

The MacArthur Fellows Program is designed to emphasize the importance of the creative individual in society. Fellows are selected for the originality and creativity of their work and the potential to do more in the future. Candidates are nominated, evaluated, and selected through a rigorous and confidential process. No one may apply for the awards, nor are any interviews conducted with nominees. The MacArthur Fellows Program places no restrictions on how recipients may use the $500,000, and no reports are required.

Born in Argentina, Golijov grew up in Eastern Europe and moved to Israel in 1983 to study with Mark Kopytman at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. He moved to the US in 1986, where he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, studying with George Crumb. Golijov has been Associate Professor of Music at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., since 1991, and also serves as a faculty member at the Boston Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Golijov's impressive list of commissions is quite long and includes the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Spoleto USA Festival, Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. His most well-known work, "La Pasi�n Seg?n San Marcos" ("St. Mark's Passion"), was commissioned by Helmuth Rilling to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach's death. Premiered in 2000 by the Schola Cantorum of Caracas, the piece has subsequently been performed in the US and recorded on the H�nnsler label. Golijov has served as composer-in-residence at Music from Marlboro, Spoleto, Merkin Hall in New York City and the LA Philharmonic's Music Alive series.

As one of the nation's largest private philanthropic foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded more than $3 billion in grants since it began operations in 1978, and today has assets of approximately $4 billion. The Foundation is named for John D. MacArthur (1897-1978), who developed and owned Bankers Life and Casualty Company and other businesses, as well as considerable property in Florida and New York. His wife Catherine (1909-1981) held positions in many of these companies and served as a director of the Foundation.