New York Philharmonic Wins Three Grammy Awards for John Adam's On the Transmigration of Souls
Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, and Best Classical Contemporary Composition
Sunday, February 13, 2005
February 13, 2005 –
February 13, 2005The live recording by the New York Philharmonic of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls — a World Premiere commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers — won three Grammy Awards at the 47th annual ceremony on Sunday, February 13, 2005, in the categories of Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, and Best Classical Contemporary Composition. The recording was released by Nonesuch Records on August 31, 2004.
The work received its World–Premiere performances September 19–21 and 24, 2002, in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, home of the New York Philharmonic. Lorin Maazel, himself a three-time Grammy winner, conducted the New York Philharmonic with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Dianne Berkun, director, and the New York Choral Artists, Joseph Flummerfelt, director.
On the Transmigration of Souls — which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for music — employs texts drawn from human testimony emerging from the September 11 events, such as written messages and first-hand accounts. Scored for chorus, orchestra, and live electronic sound, On the Transmigration of Souls honors the heroes, victims, and survivors of the September 11 attacks. The work was made possible with generous support from a longtime New York family.
“We are thrilled and honored to again be recognized by the Academy,” said Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta. “The award has special meaning because of the circumstances surrounding this work, which John Adams wrote under incredible pressures of both time and emotion. The work is a testament to his great sensitivity to the human challenge of this subject and to the foresight of Lorin Maazel, who oversaw the commission, and who did such a fantastic job of bringing all the forces together to create a memorable performance.”
Mr. Adams has said, “Composing Souls was a serious and very humbling experience for me, and any honor … should be shared with families of those who were lost on September 11 in New York. I’ll always be indebted to those New Yorkers who so generously allowed me to use their words and remembrances to create this piece.”
Twenty-one recordings by the New York Philharmonic have received Grammy Awards. In addition, the Philharmonic was honored by the Recording Academy with a Trustees Award, given in 2003 in recognition of the Orchestra’s commitment to music education and for its contribution to preserving our country’s musical legacy.
» Soundcheck: A September Requiem
» Read an interview with Adams about the work
» John Adams on WNYC
» Interactive: Grammy Winners