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Classical 101

Pulitzer Prize in Music Awarded to "Inventive" Choral Work

Above: "Passacaglia," the final movement of Caroline Shaw's Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices, performed by Roomful of Teeth. Composer, vocalist, violinist and fiddle player Caroline Shaw has been awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her choral composition Partita for 8 Voices, according to NewMusicBox.org. Shaw, 30, is the youngest person to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music and one of only five women ever to receive the coveted award. She composed Partita for 8 Voices for the ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, an octet devoted to expanding the possibilities of choral singing. Shaw wrote on her website that "Partita is a simple piece. Born of a love of surface and structure, of the human voice, of dancing and tired ligaments, of music, and of our basic desire to draw a line form one point to another." The Pulitzer committee called Shaw's Partita for 8 Voices a "highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects." Read more:

  • Caroline Shaw Wins 2013 Pulitzer Prize (NMB)
  • Caroline Shaw Wins Pulitzer Prize for Music with "Partita for 8 Voices" (CTV)