Frost School Faculty Members Receive Pulitzer Prize

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami congratulates its esteemed faculty members who were recently honored with the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music for 2021. The school also announces the appointment of 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Davis, Distinguished Composer in Residence for 2022. It is worthy to note Ms. León and Mr. Davis join 1999 Pulitzer Prize winner Melinda Wagner, who was appointed to the coveted Frost position in 2019, marking three out of the last four years a Pulitzer Prize winning composer has been a Frost School Distinguished Composer in Residence.

Tania León received top honors in music for her work “Stride,” commissioned by the N.Y Philharmonic for their Project 19 initiative celebrating the 19th amendment which awarded women the right to vote. “Now, reflecting at what this award means to me personally, it truly represents all of my hard work and sacrifices I’ve made over the years, stated Ms. León. “It made me reflect upon my arrival to the United States from Cuba many years ago, and it even made me reflect on the beginning of my music career when I started studying in Havana, Cuba.”

Henry Mancini Institute’s Artistic Director Maria Schneider placed as finalist for her two-album set “Data Lords.” “A story of two worlds” the work examines the relationship between humans and the digital and electronic technologies that shape modern society. Released last year it features the world-class Maria Schneider Orchestra and won two GRAMMY Awards --Best Large Jazz Ensemble album and Best Original Composition for “Sputnik.” “I’ve served on a couple of Pulitzer committees in the past and know the mountain of music they comb through and the great care they take to choose a winner and any finalists. So, I know what it means to be chosen to be in this elite group. It’s very exciting,” states Maria.  She is also proud to be in León’s company at the Frost School of Music.

“The Pulitzer Prize is awarded to one person in music each year for a distinguished musical composition, along with two nominated finalists, stated Dean Shelly Berg. This year we congratulate two of our esteemed faculty—the 2021 Pulitzer Prize winner, our Distinguished Composer in Residence Tania León and our Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute Maria Schneider, a nominated finalist in the jury decision. Both of these brilliantly talented composers have contributed inspiring works that are a commentary on our history and the state of the world.    I join in congratulating Tania and Maria on their extraordinary achievements and thrilled our students get to experience studying with these great music masters!”

Tania León will be passing the Distinguished Residence Composer in Residence torch to the previous recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in music, Anthony Davis who received his honor in 2020. Davis was honored for his opera The Central Park Five, cited by the Pulitzer jury as "a courageous operatic work, marked by powerful vocal writing and sensitive orchestration, that skillfully transforms a notorious example of contemporary injustice into something empathetic and hopeful." Both he and Ms. León were preceded by George Lewis in 2020, and Melinda Wagner in 2019 who was also a Pulitzer Prize winner (1999).

Anthony Davis’ announcement was made by Charles Mason, Chair, Department of Composition who stated: “What an honor it is to have Anthony Davis join our faculty as Distinguished Composer in Residence. And how exciting it is for our students to have the extraordinary opportunity to study and perform with three different Pulitzer Prize winning composers, Melinda Wagner in 2019, Tania Leon in 2021, and Anthony Davis in 2022!”

For further information, visit: frost.miami.edu.