GEORGE TSONTAKIS (b 1951 )
George Tsontakis has been the recipient of two of the richest prizes awarded in Classical music: the International Grawemeyer Award in 2005 for his Second Violin Concerto, and the 2007 Ives Living Prize from the American Academy. He studied with Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School and in Rome with Franco Donatoni. Born in Astoria, NY into Cretan heritage, he has become an important figure in the music of Greece and his music is increasingly performed abroad with several performances in Europe every season. Most of his music has been recorded by Hyperion, Koch, Innova and Naxos, including fourteen orchestral works, leading to two GRAMMY nominations for Best Classical Composition.
He served as composer-in-residence with the Aspen Music Festival for 40 years where he was founding director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble; with the Oxford Philomusica in England, with the Albany Symphony for six years, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the 2009–10 season, among others. He is Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at the Bard College Conservatory.
His most recent premieres include chamber works for Maverick Concerts, London’s Mobius Ensemble and large scale pieces for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Symphony and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He lives in New York’s Catskill Mountains.