Thursday, March 10, 2011

Women's History Month: Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, First Woman to Win Pulitzer Prize in Music

By J9 of J9's MusicLife

To celebrate Women's History month, throughout March check out a series of features on women who have impacted history as it relates to music.

In 1983, Ellen Taafee Zwilich became the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Three Movements for Orchestra (Symphony No. 1) by the American Symphony Orchestra.  She has been called "one of America’s most frequently played and genuinely popular living composers." 

Zwilich began composing as a child and by the time she finished high school, she had studied piano, violin, and trumpet. In 1960, Zwilich earned a Bachelors of Music from Florida State University.  She then moved to New York City and from 1965 to 1973, played violin with the American Symphony Orchestra.  Zwilich then decided to compose full-time and in 1975 enrolled at Juilliard.  There she became the first woman to earn the degree of Doctor of Musicial Arts in composition. 

To read more click here.

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