Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Awards Galore!

It was an exciting weekend for the Orange County Performing Arts Center with the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize winners and Russia's coveted Golden Mask Awards.

Famed minimalist composer Steve Reich won the music Pulitzer for "Double Sextet," a piece co-commissioned by the Center and performed here last year by eighth blackbird. Though he has been a finalist several times, this award marks Reich's first Pulitzer. Said Reich in the LA Times, "I said, 'You know me, I've got to have pairs of identical instruments, that's really my life's blood. And I thought, what if eighth blackbird recorded themselves, then played against themselves? I'd have two clarinets, two pianos, two percussionists -- I'm home free." NPR aired a great story about Reich and the prize yesterday - click here.

Across the globe, Russia's Golden Mask Awards were announced at the annual festival of performing arts. Celebrated ballerina Diana Vishneva, a familiar face to Center audiences, took home the Best Dancer award for her work in Beauty in Motion, another Center co-commission which received its world premiere here in February 2008. The dance production was also hailed as Best Ballet and winner of the Critic's Prize. Center patrons will have another chance to see Vishneva in action when she dances in Tour de Force: A Gala Dance Spectacular featuring the dance world's brightest stars on May 21.

Congratulations to Steve Reich and Diana Vishneva!

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