Contemporary classical composers you need to discover today

New music of such variety, imagination and originality, there is something here for everyone

Caroline Shaw

What were you doing when you were 30 years old? Caroline Shaw is unlikely to forget, for this was her age when she received the Pulitzer Prize for music. The year was 2013, and the accolade was for her a cappella piece Partita (2009-11) for eight voices. Composed for the vocal group Roomful of Teeth, of which she was (and still is) a member, the work was released on their Grammy-winning self-titled debut album in October 2012. It didn’t receive its full premiere until November the following year, when it was performed by the group at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York.

Partita for eight voices made Shaw the youngest ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music. And in 2019, The Guardian ranked it as the 20th greatest work of classical music since 2000. All this for good reason – the piece is a ...


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