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Harbison recording nominated for Grammy

John Harbison
John Harbison

A recording of a composition by Institute Professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison has been nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award.

The 2006 recording of Harbison's "Mottetti di Montale" by Boston-based Collage New Music is a contender in the Best Small Ensemble Performance category, one of 108 Grammy categories. Released in May on the Koch label, the CD features Collage director David Hoose conducting mezzo-sopranos Janice Felty and Margaret Lattimore and an ensemble of nine players.

"Mottetti" consists of 20 songs based on texts by Eugenio Montale. These are divided into four groups or books (Libri I-IV), the second of which was commissioned by Collage.

"It's shocking and gratifying when the mainstream sits up and takes notice of small groups doing great work outside the glare of publicity," said Daniel Lichtenfeld, executive director of Collage New Music. "It's especially rewarding that our first Grammy nomination comes in connection with John Harbison, whose longtime association with Collage -- as composer, conductor and advisor -- has been central to the group's success over the past 33 years."

Founded in 1972 and led by David Hoose since 1991, Collage is highly regarded for its performances of works by 20th and 21st century composers. Over the past three decades, Collage has given the first Boston performances of more than 200 works, including 80 world premieres, and frequently features works by MIT composers.

The 48th annual Grammy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 8, and will be broadcast live on CBS.

"This year's nominations truly reflect a dynamic and vibrant community of music makers that includes artists, producers, engineers, songwriters and everyone involved in the creative process," said Neil Portnow, president of The Recording Academy, which awards the Grammy. "As this is the only music award that is voted on by music makers, the Grammy continues to be the preeminent symbol of excellence and achievement as well as the most coveted demonstration of peer-recognition and honor."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 14, 2005 (download PDF).

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