Professor Joan Tower of Bard College Named Composer of the Year

Joan Tower, the Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has been selected to receive the Composer of the Year Award at the 59th Annual Musical American awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City in December.

In announcing the award, Musical American stated that “trained in an era when academic modernism reigned, she developed from a composer of intensely wrought chamber works into a creator of dramatic orchestral music that can only be described as, well, towering.”

Professor Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than 50 years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as a composer, performer, conductor, and educator.

Professor Tower was also recently awarded the Chamber Music of America’s Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, which recognizes an individual or entity that has made a significant contribution to the ensemble music field on a national level and spanning an entire career. Earlier this year, the League of American Orchestras presented Tower with its highest honor, the Gold Baton, at the league’s 74th national conference.

Professor Tower has taught at Bard College since 1972. She is a graduate of Bennington College in Vermont and holds a doctorate in musical composition from Columbia University.

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