University Professor Augusta Read Thomas honored as 2016 Chicagoan of the Year

Composer and University Professor of Composition, Augusta Read Thomas, has been honored by the Chicago Tribune as the 2016 Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music. Thomas was honored for her excellence in composition and for her commitment to supporting the work of colleague composers and musicians as exemplified by her creation and leadership of the Ear Taxi Festival, an extremely successful six-day festival with more than 500 local musicians, 88 local composers, including 54 world premieres alongside performances of many other recent compositions. Each year, the Tribune’s critics are asked to select a “Chicagoan of the Year,” the artist or performer who best represents the city in each of their respective areas of coverage. Past winners of the classical music honor include Vladamir Kulenovic and Andreas Mitisek. “A dynamic force in American musical composition herself, Thomas was the logical progenitor for a grand celebration of living composers and their art.,” wrote Tribune music critic John von Rhein. The festival, held October 5-10, 2016, celebrated Chicago’s thriving contemporary music scene with concerts, lectures, marathons, webcasts and artist receptions. “The Ear Taxi Festival showcased and celebrated the fact that right now Chicago has one of the most innovative, effervescent and exciting scenes for new music in the world, “ Thomas said. “I will continue to dedicate myself to supporting and encouraging its sustainability and growth.” Read the story and watch the video here.