Pulitzer Prize: Steve Reich

Steve Reich Wins 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music

Steve Reich
The 2009 Pulitzer Prize for “distinguished musical composition by an American” has been awarded to New York composer Steve Reich. Reich won the $10,000 prize for his Double Sextet (Boosey & Hawkes), “a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear.” The piece debuted March 26, 2008 at the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA. Reich, now 72-years-old, also won a Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 1990. Previous winners of the Pulitzer Music Prize include Ornette Coleman, Wynton Marsalis, and Aaron Copland.

In the latter years of the 19th century, Joseph Pulitzer stood out as the very embodiment of American journalism. Hungarian-born, an intense indomitable figure, Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession.

His innovative New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch reshaped newspaper journalism. Pulitzer was the first to call for the training of journalists at the university level in a school of journalism. And certainly, the lasting influence of the Pulitzer Prizes on journalism, literature, music, and drama is to be attributed to his visionary acumen.

For more on the Pulitzer Prize, including 2009 Awards and Nominees go to www.pulitzer.org.