ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH Concerto Grosso 1985
“ When you ’ re a composer , there ’ s never a moment you ’ re not working .” – Zwilich
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1939 in Miami , FL
• Ellen Taaffe Zwilich began her musical career studying violin at an early age in Miami .
• She attended Florida State University and later enrolled at The Juilliard School , where she became the first woman to earn a doctorate in composition from the school .
• She came to prominence when Pierre Boulez programmed one of her works for a concert at The Juilliard School in 1979 .
• Her first symphony won a Pulitzer Prize , making her the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for music . In addition , she has also won an Academy Award , a Guggenheim Fellowship , and has received four Grammy nominations .
• She currently teaches at Florida State University and continues her career as a prolific composer , recently premiering a new work entitled A Little Violin Music for Elijah McClain .
• Zwilich has been an important figure in 20th- and 21st-century music , and her work has been performed across the globe by the world ’ s top orchestras .
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE
MUSIC CDs are introduced
SPORTS Michael Jordan is named the NBA ’ s Rookie of the Year
Zwilich has been the subject of two cartoons in the beloved Peanuts series by Charles Schulz .
FILM The Color Purple
ABOUT THE PIECE
• Zwilich ’ s Concerto Grosso 1985 was commissioned by the Washington Friends of Handel in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Handel ’ s birth .
• The composition mixes the baroque aesthetic with Zwilich ’ s neo-Romantic sound , expertly marrying the distinct styles to create a surprising and intriguing work . The work loosely quotes the theme from the first movement of Handel ’ s Violin Sonata in D Major .
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SCIENCE DNA is first used in a criminal case
OTHER Nintendo is released in the U . S .
8 BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA