Andriessen wins Grawemeyer
The University of Louisville has announced that Louis Andriessen's latest opera, "La Commedia," is the winner of the 2011 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.
The award comes with a cash prize of $100,000.
Andriessen has long reigned as one of the central figures on the Dutch composition scene, but has waxed and waned in the United States, though Lincoln Center has presented a number of his seminal works (including "Rosa" and "Writing to Vermeer," created with Peter Greenaway), and he held Carnegie Hall's composer-in-residence chair last season. The Washington premiere of "De Materie," his masterpiece from the 1980s, took place in October.
"La Commedia" had its premiere in Amsterdam at the 2008 Holland Festival, directed by the American film director Hal Hartley, who got interested in opera when Gerard Mortier invited him to work at the Salzburg Festival in the 1990s. The work, which Andriessen calls a "film opera" (it came to New York earlier this year), is based on Dante's "Divine Comedy" but, like most of Andriessen's large-scale works, draws on a multiplicity of sources, both literary and musical.
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