Acclaimed composer and ASCAP member Maria Schneider dominated the classical categories at the 56th annual Grammy Awards this past Sunday with her latest release, Winter Morning Walks, taking home three of the coveted trophies, including Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The classical awards were handed out as part of the pre-show ceremony on Sunday, January 26th at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
Winter Morning Walks, which was performed at the Ojai Music Festival in 2011, is a series of songs based on poems by Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. The poems were inspired by Kooser's battle with cancer and chemotherapy treatment.
Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their first recording, Evanescence. With that recording, Schneider began to develop her personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, made up of many of the finest musicians in jazz today, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the uniquely creative voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She herself has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with over 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America. To learn more, visit mariaschneider.com.
The Grammys awarded to Winter Morning Walks were:
BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION
Schneider, Maria: Winter Morning Walks
Maria Schneider, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough, Scott Robinson & Australian Chamber Orchestra)
Track from: Winter Morning Walks
BEST CLASSICAL VOCAL SOLO
Winter Morning Walks
Dawn Upshaw (Maria Schneider; Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough & Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL
Winter Morning Walks
David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Congratulations to Maria Schneider and all the other ASCAP members who won or were nominated for Grammys on Sunday! For a full list of 2014 ASCAP Grammy winners, click here.