Joan Tower

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About Joan Tower

Joan Tower is one of the most prominent American composers to emerge in the latter part of the 20th century. She initially made her mark as a pianist but began composing in the 1960s. Her early music incorporated serial techniques, but in the 1970s, she turned to a more approachable style, writing works with more lyrical melodies, powerful rhythmic drive, and masterfully conceived instrumentation. (The rhythmic character of her 1993 ballet Stepping Stones has been compared to that of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.) In 1990, she became the first woman to win the highly prestigious Grawemeyer Prize for her orchestral work Silver Ladders. Among her other significant works are Petroushkates, Sequoia, and Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman. Tower has earned several high-profile awards, including the Composer of the Year Award from Musical America and the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award from Chamber Music America in 2020.

New Rochelle, NY, United States
September 6, 1938

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