Caroline Shaw

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Caroline Shaw
Shaw in 2020
Shaw in 2020
Background information
Birth nameCaroline Adelaide Shaw
Born (1982-08-01) August 1, 1982 (age 40)
Greenville, North Carolina, U.S.
Occupation(s)
  • Violinist
  • singer
  • composer
Instrument(s)
  • Violin
  • vocals
Years active2007–present
Websitecarolineshaw.com

Caroline Adelaide Shaw (born August 1, 1982) is an American composer, violinist, and singer. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for her a cappella piece Partita for 8 Voices and the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her Narrow Sea.

Early life and education[edit]

Shaw was born in Greenville, North Carolina, and began playing the violin when she was two years old. Her mother was her first teacher. She began writing music when she was 10 years old, mostly in imitation of the chamber music of Mozart and Brahms. At the time, her main focus was on violin performance. Shaw received her Bachelor of Music (violin performance) from Rice University in 2004, and her master's degree (violin) from Yale University in 2007. She entered the PhD program in composition in Princeton University in 2010.

Career[edit]

At 30, Shaw became the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition Partita for 8 Voices.[1][2][3][4] The jury citation praised the composition as "a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects."[5] The work comprises four movements inspired by baroque dance forms: Allemande, Sarabande, Courante and Passacaglia. A recording of the work was released by New Amsterdam Records on October 30, 2012, performed by the ensemble Roomful of Teeth (including Shaw). According to Steven Mackey, chair of the Department of Music at Princeton, this is the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a member of the department. (Milton Babbitt was awarded a Pulitzer citation in 1982 for his life's work as a composer.)[6]

Besides composition, Shaw is known as a musician appearing in many guises. She performs primarily as violinist with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and as vocalist with Roomful of Teeth. She also works with the Trinity Wall Street Choir, Alarm Will Sound, Wordless Music Orchestra, Ensemble Signal, AXIOM, The Yehudim, Victoire, Opera Cabal, the Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, the Oracle Hysterical, Red Light New Music, and Robert Mealy's Yale Baroque Ensemble.[7]

Her works have been performed by Roomful of Teeth, So Percussion, ACME, the Brentano String Quartet, yMusic, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Shaw has been a Yale Baroque Ensemble fellow and a Rice University Goliard fellow.[8] She received the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in 2004/5.[9]

Shaw was the musician in residence at Dumbarton Oaks during the fall of 2014, and was composer in residence with Music on Main in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada through 2016.[10]

In October 2015, rapper Kanye West released a remix of "Say You Will", the opening track from his 2008 album, 808's & Heartbreak. The remix, co-produced by Caroline Shaw, features vocals from Shaw similar to her classical compositions.[11] She also features on "Wolves" and contributed vocals to "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 2", both from West's 7th studio album, The Life of Pablo.[12] Shaw also contributed vocals to a leaked version of "Only One" that appeared on the internet in February 2016.[13]

Compositions[edit]

In 2016, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra commissioned and premiered Shaw's The Baltimore Bomb as part of the orchestra's bicentennial celebration.[14][15]

She composed the music for Josephine Decker's 2018 feature film, Madeline’s Madeline.[16]

In 2018, the British Broadcasting Corporation with Coretet, the Philips Collection, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the University of Delaware commissioned Shaw to write two works, Second Essay, Echo and Third Essay: Ruby. These received their world premiere, performed by the Calidore String Quartet, at the Cadogan Hall, London on July 16, 2018 in the BBC Proms, where they followed her 2016 work First Essay, Nimrod. According to Shaw, Nimrod was composed while listening to a recording of Marilynne Robinson's book The Givenness of Things and then in the 2016 US presidential election, which she stated accounted for the "disintegration of elements" in the piece. Shaw stated that Echo alluded to the 'echo' function in the PHP programming language, as well as to physical echoes, while Ruby is named for the Ruby programming language as well as for the gemstone.[17]

Voice[edit]

Solo instrument[edit]

  • in manus tuas, for cello or viola, premiered by Hannah Collins in 2009.
  • Gustave Le Gray, for piano, premiered by Amy Yang on April 24, 2012.
  • The Walking Man, for shakuhachi, written with and for Riley Lee, premiered on April 3, 2012.

Chamber ensemble[edit]

  • Punctum (2009, revised 2013), for string quartet, workshopped in 2009–2010 with the Hudson Quartet and the Franklin Quartet, premiered in April 2010. Revised in 2013 for the Brentano Quartet.
  • Entr'acte, for string quartet, premiered by the Brentano Quartet on March 21, 2011.
  • Jacques Duran, for string trio, premiered by Lorna Tsai, Sage Cole, and Jonina Allan Mazzeo on August 26, 2011.
  • Limestone & Felt, for cello and viola, premiered by Hannah Collins and Hannah Shaw in January 2012.
  • Taxidermy, for percussion quartet (flower pots, vibraphones, and marimba), premiered by Sō Percussion on May 2, 2012.
  • Valencia, for string quartet, premiered by Lorna Tsai, Shaw, Sage Cole, and Shay Rudolph in August 2012.
  • Boris Kerner, for cello and flower pots, premiered by New Morse Code (Hannah Collins and Mike Compitello) on November 20, 2012.
  • Plan & Elevation: The Grounds of Dumbarton Oaks, for string quartet, commissioned by Dumbarton Oaks, premiered by the Dover Quartet on November 1, 2015.
  • Draft of a High-Rise, for sextet, commissioned by Carnegie Hall and yMusic, premiered by the latter on December 2, 2016.[29] In three movements (Inked Frame ; A Scribbled Veneer ; Their Stenciled Breath ).[30][31]
  • Blueprint (2016), for string quartet, commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts for the Aizuri Quartet.
  • First Essay: Nimrod (2016), commissioned by Coretet for the Calidore String Quartet, premiered November 6, 2016.
  • Second Essay: Echo and Third Essay: Ruby, commissioned by the BBC and Chamber Music Northwest, premiered at The Proms by the Calidore String Quartet on July 16, 2018.
  • Really Craft When You (2017), commissioned by Bang on a Can All Stars.
  • The Evergreen (2020), for string quartet, commissioned by Third Angle New Music, Bravo! Vail, Coretet, and Ragazze Quartet. In four movements (Moss; Stem; Water; Root).[32]

Orchestra[edit]

Multimedia[edit]

  • Ritornello, premiered on January 27, 2012.

Film score[edit]

Family[edit]

Shaw's great-great-grandfather and great-great-great-uncle are Chang and Eng Bunker, conjoined twins from then-Siam (now Thailand) who received great fame during their lifetime.[39]

Other media[edit]

Shaw appeared as herself in season 4 of the Amazon Prime series Mozart in the Jungle, for a story line that involved a main character seeking to premiere her piece "Hi" in a competition for conductors. The piece was also played live at the series' release party, with Shaw conducting.[40]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as a featured artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Hot 100
"Pt. 2"
(Kanye West featuring Desiigner and Caroline Shaw)
2016 54 The Life of Pablo

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Say You Will" (Remix) 2015 Kanye West Non-album song
"Only One" (Original Demo) Non-album song
"FML" 2016 Kanye West, The Weeknd The Life of Pablo
"Wolves" Kanye West, Vic Mensa, Sia
"Freestyle 4" Kanye West, Desiigner
"No Mistakes" 2018 Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson Ye
"Everything" Nas, The-Dream, Kanye West, Tony Williams, 070 Shake Nasir
"Take Me to the Light" 2019 Francis and the Lights, Bon Iver, Kanye West, Chance the Rapper Take Me to the Light

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tsioulcas, Anastasia (April 15, 2013). "Caroline Shaw, 30, Wins Pulitzer For Music". Deceptive Cadence. NPR. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  2. ^ Fetters, Ashley (April 16, 2013). "Hear the Weird, Lovely A Cappella Suite That Won the Pulitzer Prize for Music". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  3. ^ Lowder, J. Bryan (April 17, 2013). "The Strange, Beautiful Music That Won the Pulitzer This Year". Slate. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (November 5, 2013). "The Pulitzer Prize Was Nice and All, but a Work Is Finally Fully Heard: Caroline Shaw's 'Partita' Has Premiere by Roomful of Teeth". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes – Citation". pulitzer.org. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "Princeton University – UPDATE: Princeton's Caroline Shaw wins Pulitzer Prize for music". princeton.edu. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  7. ^ "Caroline Shaw". carolineshaw.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Shepherd School of Music – Rice University". rice.edu. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  9. ^ 2004–2005 Fellows Archived February 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
  10. ^ "composer in residence". musiconmain.ca. Archived from the original on October 14, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  11. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (October 19, 2015). "Kanye West Shares New Versions of "Say You Will" and the Weeknd's "Tell Your Friends"". Pitchfork Media. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2015. Kanye West has shared two new tracks on his Soundcloud: a new version of "Say You Will"... that features Pulitzer-winning musician Caroline Shaw
  12. ^ Young, Alex (February 17, 2016). "Over 100 people contributed to the making of Kanye West's The Life of Pablo". Consequence of Sounds. Archived from the original on May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  13. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (February 15, 2016). "A Look at Who's Who on Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo'". Complex. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Smith, Tim (September 19, 2016). "Baltimore Symphony gala with Itzhak Perlman, OrchKids raises $1 million". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Tim, J. T. Hassell (September 18, 2016). "Baltimore Symphony opens centennial season in rousing style with pie and Perlman". Washington Classical Review. Archived from the original on February 4, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Young, Deborah (February 19, 2018). "'Madeline's Madeline': Film Review, Berlin 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 20, 2018.
  17. ^ BBC Proms (July 16, 2018). Proms at Cadogan Hall 1 Programme. British Broadcasting Corporation. pp. 5–7.
  18. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (November 5, 2013). "The Pulitzer Prize Was Nice and All, but a Work Is Finally Fully Heard". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Guerrieri, Matthew (May 21, 2014). "Boston: Caroline Shaw's Common Time". New Music USA. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  20. ^ Forsling, Göran (April 2017). "Anne Sofie von Otter - So Many Things - NAÏVE V5436 [GF] Classical Music Reviews". MusicWeb-International. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  21. ^ Huizenga, Tom (February 24, 2017). "Caroline Shaw's Helping 'Hands'". Deceptive Cadence. NPR. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  22. ^ "Brooklyn Youth Chorus & San Francisco Girls Chorus". New York Philharmonic. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Anderson, Stacey (June 9, 2016). "Interview: Is Caroline Shaw really the future of music?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "Updates to the 2016 Festival Schedule Announced". Ojai Music Festival. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "2016 Ojai Music Festival Schedule". Avant Music News. December 11, 2015. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Lamott, Bruce. "Program Notes: Anne Sofie von Otter". Philhamonia Baroque Orchestra. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  27. ^ MacBean, James Roy (March 13, 2019). "Philharmonia Baroque & Anne Sofie von Otter Offer Contemporary Works". The Berkeley Daily Planet. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  28. ^ Ginell, Richard S. (January 18, 2021). "Caroline Shaw Offers Her Own Spin on Folk Tradition". San Francisco Classical Voice. Archived from the original on January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  29. ^ "yMusic touring, playing Sufjan Stevens, Chris Thile & more at Carnegie Hall". BrooklynVegan. November 18, 2016. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  30. ^ "yMusic: Ecstatic Science". New Amsterdam Records. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  31. ^ Tracy, Peter (April 13, 2020). "ALBUM REVIEW: yMusic's 'Ecstatic Science'". Second Inversion. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  32. ^ Andrews, Matthew Neil (December 10, 2020). "Once things clear out, what do you hear?". Oregon ArtsWatch. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  33. ^ Williams Tobias, Marianne (2016). "Lo for Violin and Orchestra". Indianapolis Symphony. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  34. ^ Hutton, Mary Ellyn (March 16, 2016). "MusicNOW, Cincinnati Symphony Partner for 2nd Year". Music in Cincinnati. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  35. ^ Schiavo, Paul (January 8, 2019). "Caroline Shaw: A Pulitzer Prize Is Just the Beginning". Seattle Symphony. Archived from the original on September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  36. ^ Burbank, Megan (February 1, 2019). "Caroline Shaw piano concerto premiere turns classical tradition on its head". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  37. ^ Zwiebach, Michael (October 22, 2019). "Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale Unveils Caroline Shaw's New Cantata". San Francisco Classical Voice. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  38. ^ Rowe, Georgia (October 16, 2019). "Carl Sagan inspired a new oratorio for Philharmonia Baroque". The Mercury News. Archived from the original on October 19, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  39. ^ Caroline Shaw Archived July 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Vogue Italia.
  40. ^ Cooper, Michael (February 18, 2018). "Hear How 'Mozart in the Jungle' Became a New-Music Showcase". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2020 – via NYTimes.com.

External links[edit]