David Rakowski rakes in accolades for music and teaching

Composer is two-time Pulitzer finalist

David Rakowski

This spring kudos of all kinds are pouring in for David Rakowski, the Walter W. Naumberg Professor of Composition. His new album, "David Rakowski: Winged Contraption," spans 15 years of his musical career and has just been released by BMOP/sound. Read a review of the album here.

But that’s not all. On May 30th, New York City’s Kaufman Center will premiere Rakowski’s “Stolen Moments” in the Merkin concert hall featuring Zephyros Winds and pianist Anthony de Mare. Over the summer, Rakowski will perform his music at two renowned music festivals. He will play selected piano etudes at the Ojai Music Festival, June 14, 2009, in Ojai, California. In August, he will participate in the 2009 Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in music, Rakowski has heard his music played all over the world. Reviewers of his 160-plus works for clarinets, percussion, strings, brass, and piano have used words like visceral, humorous, exuberant, inventive, lyrical, luminous, boisterous, and quirky. But Rakowski’s global eminence is matched by his popularity in the classroom, and students employ many of the same adjectives to describe his teaching. Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe presented Rakowski with the university’s Neubauer Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring in early April. One of the nominating students wrote, “Professor Rakowski’s classes are the highlight of my week. It is clear that his students always come first, and that he is a teacher because he really wants us to understand and love music as much as he does.”

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