Sarah Curran and Augusta Read Thomas Selected for Newcity's Music 45

Sarah Curran headshot and Augusta Read Thomas headshot, photos by Sandy Morris | Sally Blood Photo


The Department of Music is thrilled to announce that two of our colleagues were selected for Newcity Magazine's Music 45—an annual honor that recognizes the accomplishments of music educators, performers, programmers, supporters, venues, and more in the Chicago area. Congratulations to Sarah Curran, the executive director of UChicago Presents, and Augusta Read Thomas, composition professor and the founder of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, on this significant achievement.

Newcity writes that UChicago Presents (UCP) is "a unique marriage of intellectual and artistic prospecting," and that Sarah Curran's unique path to UCP brings staggering qualifications to the table: "Curran set out to be a playwright, but that slipper wasn’t a perfect fit. She was on the ground in New York City after 9/11, creating studio space for artists and conversations that invited the citizenry back into their lives. But she found her 'sweet spot' with Stanford Arts as the Director of Programming and Partnerships, and then as the first associate director of the Stanford Arts Institute." 

Curran's breadth of experiences has helped UCP soar to new successes, with student attendance quadrupling in the past year, and ticket sales for the current year remaining on an uptick. 

Augusta Read Thomas is lauded for bringing "grace and empathy to her gigantic life as composer, educator and creative citizen." Newcity highlights her enormous, varied catalog of work that has been featured everywhere from Carnegie Hall to a Grammy Award-winning CD, but also emphasizes Thomas' role as a leader at UChicago as both a professor and as founder of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition.

"I get joy out of the beauty of other people-–their grace, their radiance, their inner essence. That’s why I teach, and why I was central in building MusicNow at the CSO, why I volunteer on many boards, and why I started the Center for Contemporary Composition,” Thomas says. “I don’t just focus on my own work. I want to advance the field.”

To read the full features on both Sarah Curran and Augusta Read Thomas written by Brian Hieggelke, click here.