John Luther Adams Wins a Lifetime Achievement Award

01.08.15
The New York Times

By Michael Cooper 

The composer John Luther Adams continues to ride the wave. Mr. Adams, who won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his mesmerizing, environmentally aware orchestral work “Become Ocean,” will be awarded the $50,000 William Schuman Award this fall, Columbia University’s School of the Arts announced on Thursday.

The award, which has been given out periodically since it was established in 1981, recognizes “the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance.” Previous winners include Gunther Schuller, Milton Babbitt, Steve Reich, John Zorn, and, most recently, Pauline Oliveros.

Mr. Adams will be presented the award to coincide with a three-night tribute at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University beginning Oct. 7 that will include the New York premieres of three of his works: “Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing,” “In the White Silence” and “for Lou Harrison.” The works will be performed by the JACK Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble and conducted by Steven Schick.