The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced that composer James Matheson is winner of its $200,000 Charles Ives Living award. The award covers a two-year period beginning in July 2012; recipients are given the chance to compose exclusively during that period but must agree to forgo all salaried employment, though there is no restriction on accepting composition commissions. John Corigliano, Martin Bresnick, John Harbison, Stephen Hartke, and Tania León were the composers who served on the committee that chose Matheson for the award. Matheson, born in 1970 in Des Moines and based in Brooklyn, New York, has served as director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program since 2009, and previously was executive director of the MATA Festival of Music in New York. His music has been performed by the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the Chicago and Albany symphony orchestras, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Orchestra 2001, among other ensembles. Previous winners of the Ives Living award, inaugurated in 1998, include Martin Bresnick, Chen Yi, Stephen Hartke, and George Tsontakis.   

Posted December 8, 2011