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Monday, May 13, 2013

Young Composer Caroline Shaw Wins Pulitzer

Caroline Shaw is a violinist, singer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. (Pulitzer Prize Board)

Caroline Shaw is a violinist, singer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. (Pulitzer Prize Board)

Before last month, Caroline Shaw was known primarily as a busy freelance performer.

She plays the violin with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble and sings alto with the Trinity Wall Street Choir, as well as the a cappella group Roomful of Teeth.

But she also studied composing at Princeton, and in April, her piece “Partita for Eight Voices,” written for Roomful of Teeth, won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Music. The composition, in four parts, is featured on Roomful of Teeth’s eponymous album.

The Pulitzer committee calls her piece “a highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects.”

At 30, Shaw is the youngest – and one of only a few women – to have won the award.

Roomful of Teeth performs Part IV of Caroline Shaw’s “Partida for Eight Voices”:


  • Caroline Shaw, violinist, singer and composer, who won the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her composition “Partita for Eight Voices.”

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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