George Tsontakis was named Monday as the recipient of the 2005 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award, for his Violin Concerto No. 2. The prestigious Grawemeyer Award is recognized around the world as the premier international composition competition, counting among its past winners names such as Gyorgy Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Tan Dun, John Corigliano, Toru Takemitsu, Kaija Saariaho, Witold Lutoslawski, and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Violin Concerto No. 2 was written for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster, Steven Copes, and premiered under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya in April, 2003. The St. Paul Pioneer Press declared, "Rejoice, lovers of violin and chamber orchestra. George Tsontakis' new violin concerto is a work of gentle beauty and intriguing orchestral sounds."
This is the pinnacle of an exciting time for Tsontakis, who just last week saw the release of two CDs on Koch International Classics featuring his chamber music. Heartsounds (KIC CD 7579) includes Heartsounds, Meditations at Perigee and Sarabesque, performed by Da Camera of Houston; Piano Quartet Trilogy (KIC CD 7550) presents Piano Quartet No. 2, Eclipse, Bagatelles (Piano Quartet No. 1) and Bagatelle (solo piano), performed by Broyhill Chamber Players. A third CD is pending on INNOVA Recordings: Tsontakis‚ Eclipse, performed by Antares, is the title work on a CD of music by various composers.
Can anyone in the know recommend recordings/pieces in the comments below?