Priska Ketterer/Courtesy of the University of Louisville
Olga Neuwirth, a groundbreaking Austrian composer and multimedia artist regarded for the specialized virtuosity and elemental electrical power of her perform, is the newest receiver of 1 of classical music’s most prestigious and profitable honors. On Monday, Neuwirth was declared as the winner of the 2022 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Tunes Composition, which contains $100,000. She was acknowledged for her opera Orlando, which experienced its planet premiere at the Vienna Condition Opera in December 2019—the initial opera composed by a lady at any time to be mounted by that venerable business.
Neuwirth co-authored the opera’s libretto with Catherine Filloux, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel of the exact same title. The novel, concerning a young male poet in 16th-century England who mysteriously transforms into a woman, specials with gender fluidity in a prescient and timely way.
“I wanted to reflect the excellent variety of life and evoke a refined form of sexual attraction that simply cannot be pigeonholed into a solitary gender,” Neuwirth explained in a press assertion provided by the University of Louisville. “What is far more, the most important character refuses to be patronized and handled in a condescending way, one thing that continuously transpires to women with no close in sight.”
In fashioning the sound entire world for Orlando, Neuwirth identified as upon massive forces for a polyglot rating ranging from Tudor balladry to punk rock and electronic noise. As staged in Vienna, the opera also provided a brassy tour de pressure highlight range for the transgender cabaret artist Justin Vivian Bond, billed as “Orlando’s youngster.”
“Orlando is an enormous, supremely formidable perform,” Marc Satterwhite, who directs the Grawemeyer audio award, claimed in a push assertion. “The libretto and multifaceted score obstacle our preconceptions of gender and sexual roles and check our suggestions of what opera is and is not. It also would seem appropriate that the first woman-composed opera to be executed at the Vienna Point out Opera, a location extended regarded as a bastion of custom, must just take aim at these issues.”
The prize was declared this morning by the College of Louisville, which sponsors the award. Former winners consist of Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Thomas Adès and Andrew Norman. Neuwirth is the fourth female composer to claim the prize, earlier awarded to Joan Tower, Kaija Saariaho and Unsuk Chin.