ASCAP member James Matheson has won the Charles Ives Living award, a prize organized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and will receive $200,000 over the two-year period beginning in July 2012. The announcement was made by fellow ASCAP member J.D. McClatchy, president of the Academy: "James Matheson joins a distinguished line of winners of the Ives Living, each of them adding to American music more of the exuberance and distinction that Charles Ives himself exemplified." The Charles Ives Living winner agrees to forgo all salaried employment during the award period, but can still accept composition commissions. James Matheson said, "Two years devoted exclusively to composition is a luxury almost beyond my ability to imagine."
Matheson became the Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Composer Fellowship Program in September of 2009. He has received the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship (2008) and the Hinrichsen Award (2002) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2000. From 2005-2007, Matheson was Executive Director of the MATA Festival of New Music in New York. His Violin Concerto, co-commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will receive its world premiere by the CSO later this month.
Harmony Ives, the widow of Charles Ives, left to the Academy the royalties from her husband's music to establish a fund for prizes in music composition. Since 1970, the Academy has given 239 Ives scholarships, and since 1983, 42 Ives fellowships. These awards continue to be given annually.