Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Musical Geniuses?

The MacArthur Foundation announced its genius grants Monday. The list of 25 awardees includes Marin Alsop, new conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Joseph Curtin, master violin maker; and Aaron Dworkin, founder of the Sphinx Organization, a group that exposes inner city children to music at early ages and provides instruments and educational opportunities.

This is a very good showing for music, though it is not too surprising. The foudnation has given grants to other musicians, including Osvaldo Golijov, Ken Vandermark, Susan McClary, Meredith Monk, Stanley Crouch, John Harbison and Gunther Schuller.

Speaking of Schuller, I just found out today that he arranged some of the rags used in The Sting, though you have to look at the liner notes of the soundtrack very carefully to find this out. Marvin Hamlisch seems to have hogged the limelight rather thoroughly for this film.

4 comments:

Michael J. West said...

Stanley Crouch isn't a musician. (Is he?) He's an anti-progressive jazz critic, one who's been known to get in public brawls with other critics and musicians who disagree with him.

I'd be interested to know how he finagled a genius grant...

Scott Spiegelberg said...

I included him as a music critic, thus deeply involved in music. But he is trained as a musician, working as a drummer before turning to criticism. You don't actively compete for genius grants, they are awarded based on the decisions of the foundation.

Michael J. West said...

Ahh...so do you actually apply for Genius Grants, or does the foundation nominate?

Likewise I had no idea that Crouch is a drummer. Has he ever recorded?

Scott Spiegelberg said...

There is no application. The foundation nominates and decides, in some mysterious fashion. Last year I saw a story on the MacArthur Foundation on CBS Sunday Morning, but details were very few.

I don't know about any recordings by Crouch.