Prof. Augusta Read Thomas receives prestigious composer and cultural awards

University Professor of Composition Augusta Read Thomas has won the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Composer’s Award for 2015-16, the oldest award of its kind in the nation honoring contemporary composers who have made significant contributions to the field of symphonic music, and who are “effective personal advocates of new approaches to the broadening of critical and appreciative standards."

Thomas will be honored at three concerts held between May 20-22 at the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, Penn., during which the Lancaster Symphony will perform her orchestral works “Aureole” and “Prayer and Celebration,” conducted by Stephen Gunzenhauser.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award and to join past recipients whom I have long admired and respected,” Thomas said. “Working with the members of the Lancaster Symphony will be a privilege and delight.”

In November, Thomas was awarded the Cultural Medal of Monaco, earning the honor Chevalier of the Order of Cultural Merit. Established in 1952 by Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, the award recognizes those “who have made a distinctive contribution to the arts, letters or science.” Thomas received the award at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco from Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover, Princess of Monaco.

This fall Thomas is leading the Ear Taxi Festival, a six-day, first-of-its-kind new music festival celebrating the vibrant, classical contemporary music scene in Chicago. Running from Oct. 5-10 at six venues across the city, the festival will include performances by some of Chicago’s most innovative composers and performers in contemporary music.

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