‘I want to write music where the sensibilities of the player are encouraged’ - Caroline Shaw


The youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Caroline Shaw talks to Toby Deller about her eclectic influences and finding inspiration in the most unlikely places

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In her introductory note to In Manus Tuas  (2009), a piece written for solo cello but which can also be played on the viola, the American composer Caroline Shaw describes rewriting a particular passage because she felt her original, literal approach was ‘a stressful way to handle what should be a somewhat meditative and liberated moment’. The note certainly makes it clear to the performer what kind of musical outcome Shaw intends. But it perhaps also suggests a sensitivity on her part to the kind of unnecessary or unwanted disturbance that even apparently unassuming gestures can elicit…

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