Anna Weesner Wins Virgil Thomson Award in Vocal Music

February 6, 2018

Anna Weesner, Dr. Robert Weiss Professor of Music, has won the 2018 Virgil Thomson Award in Vocal Music. The award, endowed by the Virgil Thomson Foundation and administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, recognizes an American composer of vocal works. Candidates were nominated by the Academy’s members, and the winner was chosen by a special jury comprised of composers William Bolcom, Robert Beaser, John Harbison, and Tania León.

“The Virgil Thomson Award Committee was struck by the strong personality and profile of the moving vocal work by Anna Weesner in My Mother in Love and Mother Tongues. Her originality set her apart, says Bolcom."

Weesner is the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2008 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a 2003 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Her music has been described as “animated and full of surprising turns” by the New York Times and as “a haunting conspiracy” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has been awarded a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliffe and has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Seal Bay Festival, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and at Fondation Royaumont in France. Weesner has also been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, a Director’s Guest at Civitella Ranieri in Italy, and Composer-in-Residence at Weekend of Chamber Music in Jefferson, New York.

The award will be given at the annual ceremony in mid-May.