At a time when the musical offerings of the world are more varied than ever before, few composers have emerged with the unique personality of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Her music is widely known because it is performed, recorded, broadcast, and – above all – listened to and liked by all sorts of audiences the world over. Like the great masters of bygone times, Zwilich produces music “with fingerprints” music that is immediately recognized as her own. In her compositions, she combines craft and inspiration, reflecting an optimistic and humanistic spirit that gives her a unique musical voice.
Ellen Zwilich is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in Music (the first woman ever to receive this coveted award), an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 4 Grammy nominations, and the NPR and WNYC Gotham Award for her contributions to the musical life of New York City. Among other distinctions, Zwilich has been elected to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Zwilich earned her doctorate from The Juilliard School.
Ellen will be celebrating her 80th in 2019. Explore a timeline of her catalog, and join in the conversation by performing or commissioning a work.