Composers Courtney Bryan and Raven Chacon are among the 20 recipients of the 2023 MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grants, which were announced by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on October 5. MacArthur fellows each receive a grant of $800,000 over five years to spend as they wish. Fellows are nominated by their peers and communities through a multiyear process overseen by the foundation. They do not apply and are not informed about the process until the awards are officially announced.
Composer and pianist Courtney Bryan was cited by the MacArthur Foundation for “melding elements of jazz, classical, and sacred music in works that reverberate with social and political issues of our time.” In 2018, Bryan was awarded a League of American Orchestras Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commission. Her commissioned score, Rejoice, was premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto in November of 2019. The MacArthur Foundation has posted Bryan’s bio and a video about her at https://www.macfound.org/fellows/class-of-2023/courtney-bryan#searchresults. Composer and artist Raven Chacon was recognized by the MacArthur Foundation for “creating musical works that cut across boundaries of visual art and performance to illuminate landscapes, their inhabitants, and histories.” A member of the Navajo Nation living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chacon received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Voiceless Mass, a work for ensemble and pipe organ. The MacArthur Foundation has posted Chacon’s bio and a video about him at https://www.macfound.org/fellows/class-of-2023/raven-chacon#searchresults. The complete roster of 2023 awardees is available at https://www.macfound.org/programs/fellows/.