Caroline Shaw Wins 2013 Pulitzer for Music

Email a Friend

Caroline Shaw, a New York-based composer, has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for music for her Partita for 8 Voices.

The award, one of seven given in the arts, was announced Monday afternoon by the Pulitzer foundation. It carries a $10,000 prize and is presented annually to a "distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year."

Shaw, 30, wrote the Partita for Roomful of Teeth, a vocal octet of which she is a member. It was released on the group's self-titled debut release last October on New Amsterdam Records.

The Pulitzer board describes the four-part suite as "a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects."

Shaw writes: "Partita is a simple piece. Born of a love of surface and structure, of the human voice, of dancing and tired ligaments, of music ..."

Originally from North Carolina, Shaw holds a B.M. in violin performance from Rice and an M.M. (violin) from Yale. She is currently a doctoral fellow in composition at Princeton University. Shaw is also a member of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and has performed with the Trinity Wall Street Choir, the Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound and other groups around New York City.

The Pulitzer finalists were Aaron Jay Kernis's Pieces of Winter Sky and Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers.

- With the Associated Press