Du Yun's 'Angel's Bone' Wins Pulitzer Prize For Music

Apr 10, 2017
Originally published on April 11, 2017 9:56 am

Chinese-born composer Du Yun has taken home this year's Pulitzer Prize for music for her opera Angel's Bone, it was announced today during a ceremony in New York.

In its announcement, the Pulitzer board wrote that the work "integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world.

The work, which includes a libretto by Royce Vavrek, premiered in January 2016 during the Prototype Festival in New York. The New York Times, in a glowing review of that show, wrote that it was "appallingly good" and that Du's music "obeys only her own omnivorous tastes and assured dramatic instincts." The piece tells the story of two fallen angels who are taken in, Misery style, by a couple that yearns for fame.

A previous work, Zolle, which premiered in 2005, tackled similar themes as Angel's Bone — displacement and an examination of the space between life and death. (You can hear that piece here, courtesy of member station WQXR.) She is also the artistic director of the MATA Festival and holds a PhD in composition from Harvard.

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