Ellen Reid's p r i s m Wins 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Music
From Development server
15 April 2019

Ellen Reid's p r i s m, Premiered at LA Opera and Prototype Festival, Wins 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Music

COMPOSER ELLEN REID'S p r i s m, a dramatically and sonically daring opera about the effects of sexual and emotional abuse, has won this year's Pulitzer Prize for music. 

The work, which features libretto by Roxie Perkins, had its world premiere in November 2018 as part of LA Opera's Off Grand initiative before coming to New York in January as part of the 2019 Prototype Festival. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Trinity Church Wall Street, p r i s m was staged by director James Darrah and was conducted by Julian Wachner and Daniela Candillari. 


"I am blown away and incredibly honored to receive this year’s Pulitzer Prize in music," Reid wrote in a statement posted to her website. "Composing p r i s m was a challenging, rewarding and deeply personal experience, and I hope this opera will help shed light on the experience of surviving sexual assault. While Roxie and I did not plan for the timeliness of the subject matter, I am so grateful that it has resonated with audiences."

Reviewing the p r i s m at LA Opera for OPERA NEWS, Simon Williams called the work, "heady theatrical concoction that left the audience both exhilarated and confused." 

A composer and sound artist, Reid is a composer whose works blur the boundaries between opera, sound design, film scores, ensembles and choral works. She recently became the first composer to be commissioned and have their works premiered in a single year by four of Los Angeles's leading musical institutions — the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Reid is currently at work on a new piece that will be premiered in February 2020 by the New York Philharmonic. She is also preparing a collaboration with Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller on a sound installation that will be placed in LA Phil’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. This fall, Reid begins a three-year term as creative advisor and composer-in-residence at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Reid and composer Missy Mazzoli co-founded Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program for young self-identified female, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers. Originally from Tennessee, Reid earned her BFA from Columbia University and her MA from California Institute of the Arts. 

Reid's win represents the second work developed by Beth Morrison Projects to have won the Pulitzer Prize since 2017, when Angel's Bone, an opera by Du Run and Royce Vavrek, won the prize. spacer 

More information can be found at Pulitzer.org and EllenReidMusic.com.

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