Augusta Read Thomas is finalist for 2014 Gramophone Classical Music Awards

The UChicago Music Department is excited to announce that University Professor of Composition Augusta Read Thomas has been announced as one of six finalists for the 2014 Gramophone Classical Music Awards for the Best Contemporary Recording.

Thomas's Nimbus (NI6258) disk, Selected Works for Orchestra, includes:

  • Aureole for orchestra - DePaul University Symphony, Cliff Colnot conducting
  • Words of the Sea for orchestra - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez conducting
  • In My Sky at Twilight for soprano and ensemble - Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble with soprano Christine Brandes, Pierre Boulez conducting
  • Carillon Sky for solo violin and chamber ensemble - Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble with violinist Baird Dodge, Oliver Knussen conducting
  • Terpsichore's Dream for chamber orchestra - ART Chamber Orchestra, Cliff Colnot conducting
  • Silver Chants the Litanies for French horn and 18 players - Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble with Greg Heustis on horn, Jack Delaney conducting

This recording has already garnered high praise, including: 

"...the vividly imaginative instrumental palette that Thomas has at her fingertips...established her as one of the most distinctive and rewarding US composers…” - Andrew Clements

"Scintillating and evocative...a luminous can only await volume 2 of this series with impatience.”  - Richard Whitehouse

"Step forward a comparatively young composer writing today in a dissonant and provocative way. Augusta Read Thomas...has not been short of A-List proponents. Aureole for orchestra is...wrapped in provocative rhythms and colours. It's all very lucidly orchestrated. Words of the Sea for orchestra lets us hear a live concert performance... This is virtuoso stuff. Carillon Sky for solo violin and chamber ensemble revels once again in a luxuriant web of dissonance and caprice. It's highly virtuoso writing redolent of Szymanowski and Dutilleux. Terpsichore's Dream is for chamber orchestra, with more pattering percussion and silvery chiming filigree. Gritty dissonance carries the day but it's always cleanly scored.” - Rob Barnett

Kudos also to our Music Department Lecturer and Conductor of Contempo Cliff Colnot, who conducts Aureole and Terpsichore's Dream in the recording.

The other finalists include:

Adams - The Gospel According to the Other Mary
Soloists, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles PO / Gustavo Dudamel

Anderson - Fanstasies; The Crazed Moon, The Discovery of Heaven
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Julian Anderson, Vladimir Jurowski 

Benjamin - Written on Skin
Soloists, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/George Benjamin (dir Katie Mitchell)

Birtwistle - The Moth Requiem
BBC Singers, Nash Ensemble / Nicholas Kok

Tuur - Symphony No 7. Piano Concerto
Laura Mikkola (pf) Frankfurt RSO / Paavo Järvi    

We all look forward to the announcement of the winner in a few weeks, and in the meantime we wish the very best of luck to Augusta!