Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940; Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
April 15, 2003
Composer Libby Larsen Named to Papamarkou Chair in Education and Technology in Library of Congress Kluge Center
Libby Larsen, one of America's most prolific and most performed living composers, has been named to the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education and Technology in the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress beginning in June 2003.
The holder of this chair, which was established through a generous gift from Alexander Papamarkou (deceased 1998) in honor of his grandfather, addresses issues of education and technology that have an impact on the Library of Congress and the nation.
As holder of the Papamarkou Chair, Larsen will work to connect music education organizations with artists to plan new ways for arts educators and world-class artist practitioners to work together. In addition, she will work to organize "The Global Green Room," bringing together leading practicing artists to identify issues concerning "the soul" of America's culture and to create ways in which artists may regularly interact with each other and with the population at large through technology. Larsen will also continue work on her book of essays on the cultural effects of music/electricity/sound and transportation.
Larsen has created more than 200 works spanning virtually every genre, from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral and opera scores. Her many commissions and recordings, prized for their dynamic, deeply inspired, and vigorous contemporary American spirit, are a testament to her fruitful collaborations with a long list of world-renowned artists. Her opera "Barnum's Bird," which was co-commissioned by the Library of Congress and the Odyssey Commissioning Program of the Plymouth Music Series in honor of the Library's 200th anniversary, had its world premiere in the Coolidge Auditorium in February 2002. Larsen's works are widely recorded on such labels as Angel/EMI, Nonesuch, Decca and Koch International Classics.
Her awards and accolades include the 1994 Grammy as producer of the CD, "The Art of Arleen Augér," a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bush Foundation, and numerous honorary doctorate degrees. Her opera "Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus" was selected as one of the eight best classical music events of 1990 by USA Today.
The first woman to serve as resident composer with a major orchestra, Larsen has served as composer-in-residence with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony and the Charlotte Symphony, and she has taught at more than 150 colleges and universities throughout the world.
In 1973, Larsen, a vigorous and articulate champion of the music and musicians of the present day, co-founded (with Stephen Paulus) the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composers Forum, which has been an invaluable advocate for American composers. Her commitment to the wider issue of music in society has led her to become active on a national level as well, serving on the boards of the American Symphony Orchestra League, Meet the Composer, the College Music Society, the American Music Center and the College Music Society.
Through a generous endowment from its namesake, the Library of Congress established the John W. Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize, and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C. The Kluge Center houses five senior Kluge Chairs (American Law and Governance, Countries and Cultures of the North, Countries and Cultures of the South, Technology and Society, and Modern Culture); other senior-level chairs (Henry A. Kissinger Chair, Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics, and the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education and Technology); and nearly 25 post-doctoral fellows.
For more information about the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education and Technology or any of the other fellowships and grants offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E, Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595. http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/
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