US flute player wins $100,000

The innovative Claire Chase, recipient of the 2012 Macarthur grant (worth $625,000 over five years), has just been named winner of the annual $100,000 Avery Fisher award.

Chase, 38 and Brooklyn-based, has a 22-year scheme to commission new music for her instrument.

She is the first flute player to win the award, which has been running since 1975 and has been withheld in five of the past eight years.


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  • Yet another prize.

    QUESTION: Below is the list of all past winners of this prize, if NONE of the people on this list had won, would it have made a JOT of difference either in classical music or in these recipients’ careers?

    Lynn Harrell, cellist
    Murray Perahia, pianist
    Yo-Yo Ma, cellist
    Emanuel Ax, pianist
    Richard Goode, pianist
    Horacio Gutiérrez, pianist
    Elmar Oliveira, violinist
    Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist
    André Watts, pianist
    Yefim Bronfman, pianist
    Garrick Ohlsson, pianist
    Sarah Chang, violinist
    Pamela Frank, violinist
    Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violinist
    Edgar Meyer, double bassist
    David Shifrin, clarinetist
    Midori, violinist
    Emerson String Quartet
    Eugene Drucker, violinist
    Philip Setzer, violinist
    Lawrence Dutton, violist
    David Finckel, cellist
    Joshua Bell, violinist
    Gil Shaham, violinist
    Kronos Quartet
    David Harrington, violinist
    John Sherba, violinist
    Hank Dutt, violist
    Jeffrey Zeigler, cellist
    Jeremy Denk, pianist

    ANSWER: No.
    CONCLUSION: Mr. Avery Fisher lost his hall (thanks to his heirs) but at least he still has his prize.

    • It does seem to always go to people whose careers are already coming along quite nicely. Maybe the goal of the award is not to discover new talent, but to give the recipient enough money to take some of the pressure off for awhile — maybe free up time for new projects that would take a lot of time but maybe not make money; that kind of thing. Just a guess.

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