Tyshawn Sorey wins 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Music

Tyshawn Sorey wins 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Music
Tyshawn Sorey
© John Rogers

Composer Tyshawn Sorey has won the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his work Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith).

The piece was commissioned by Lucerne Festival and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as part of "Amplifying Voices," a New Music USA initiative powered by the Sphinx Ventures Fund, with additional support from ASCAP and the Sorel Organization. Premiered in the US on March 16, 2023 at Atlanta Symphony Hall, the work is an introspective saxophone "nonconcerto," with a wide range of textures presented in a slow tempo. It is a beautiful homage to Sorey's colleague Wadada Leo Smith, another one of the great composer-performers of our time; its quiet intensity treasures intimacy rather than spectacle.

Newark-born multi-instrumentalist Sorey is a composer and musician who occupies a unique space in and between spontaneous and formal composition. An artist whose work has proven impossible to categorise, he has maintained a lifelong interest in establishing an alternative musical model that celebrates genre mobility both as an artistic ideal and a compositional attitude.

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Sorey joins the many Wise Music Group composers who have previously won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music, including Du Yun, John Luther Adams, Ellen Reid, Yehudi Wyner, John Corigliano, Aaron Jay Kernis, John Harbison, George Crumb, Elliott Carter, and Samuel Barber. For a full list of this year's Pulitzer Prize winners see here.

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