Composer James Matheson has been named the winner of the Charles Ives Living, worth $200,000. Distributed over a period of two years, the grant provides a living for a promising American composer and thus the means to devote all his or her time to composition.
Matheson was selected for the award by a committee appointed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, including composers John Corigliano, Martin Bresnick, John Harbison, Stephen Hartke and Tania León. The group studied scores and recordings over a six-month period to arrive at their choice.
‘James Matheson’s music has for many years been a model of independence, strength, and resolute directness,' said John Harbison. ‘He is a deserving and distinguished recipient of the Ives Living, and we anticipate many fine pieces blooming during this free time.’
Matheson has been the recipient of a number of fellowships throughout his career, including the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship in 2008 and the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2000. He became the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program in September of 2009. His music has been performed by the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
Former winners of the Charles Ives Living are Martin Bresnick in its inaugural year of 1998, Chen Yi in 2001, Stephen Hartke in 2004 and George Tsontakis in 2007.