Ice Field

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Ice Field is a musical composition by Henry Brant, for large orchestral groups and organ, commissioned by Other Minds for a December 2001 premiere by the San Francisco Symphony. It was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Music,[1][2] and premiered on December 12 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.[3] A, "'spatial narrative,'"[3] or, "spatial organ concerto,"[4] and thus an example of Brant's use of spatialization, the work utilizes more than 100 players.[5]

It was the strong feeling of the Jury that the Brant score was an extraordinarily powerful statement, the culmination of a life's work. His control of diverse instrumental groups in a spatial environment coalesces into powerful and coherent musical expression. Here, Brant, in his ninth decade, has refined his techniques of spatial music, embracing all of his experience to produce a remarkable vision, with increased vitality and creative imagination.

— The Pulitzer Prize Board[6]

The piece was, "inspired by his experience, as a 12-year-old in 1926, of crossing the Atlantic by ship, which navigated carefully through a large field of icebergs in the North Atlantic."[7]


  1. ^ "Henry Brant",
  2. ^ Hill, Brad (2006). American Popular Music: Classical, p.37. ISBN 978-0-8160-5311-7.
  3. ^ a b Anon., "Brant's 'Field' Wins Pulitzer" (2002). Billboard Vol. 114, No. 16 (April 20), p.13. ISSN 0006-2510.
  4. ^ (2008). Musicworks, no. 100, 101, or 102, p.41.[full citation needed] Music Gallery.
  5. ^ Gagné, Nicole V. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Classical Music. ISBN 978-0-8108-6765-9.
  6. ^ Fischer, Heinz Dietrich (2010). The Pulitzer Prize Winners for Music, p.250. ISBN 978-3-631-59608-1.
  7. ^ Alan Kozinn (2008). [Obituary]. New York Times (April 30), quoted in 21st Century Music, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp. 10–11, quotation on p.10.