Composer Raven Chacon wins historic Pulitzer Prize for Music

Opera music
(Photo credit: Adam Conté)

Raven Chacon became the first Native American winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Chacon received the famous distinction, which is endowed with a reward of US$15,000 for his “voiceless mass”.

“The work was commissioned specifically to use the organ at the United Church of Christ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Present Music’s annual Thanksgiving concert,” Chacon said in an official statement, noting that “as As an indigenous artist, I have never presented my work during this party, but in this case, I made an exception.

Chacón was born in Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, Arizona in 1977 and is recognized as a chamber music composer and noise music performer. He received musical training at the California Institute of the Arts University of New Mexico, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Composition from the California Institute of the Arts.

The composer, who is also the recipient of the American Academy Award in Berlin, the Creative Capital Award, a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and an artist grant from the Foundation for Native Arts and Cultures, is also renowned for his sound and installation art. . He also performs in KILT bands and is songwriter-in-residence with the Native American Songwriters Apprenticeship Project.