Lewis Spratlan, recipient of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in music and the Charles Ives Opera Award (2016) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was born in 1940 in Miami, Florida. His music, often praised for its dramatic impact and vivid scoring, is performed regularly throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale University, where he studied with Mel Powell and Gunther Schuller. From 1970 until his retirement in 2006 he served on the music faculty of Amherst College, and has also taught and conducted at Penn State University, Tanglewood, and the Yale Summer School of Music.
He is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Composition, as well as Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Bogliasco, NEA, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and MacDowell Fellowships.
Spratlan has recently completed his fourth opera, Midi, a black French-Caribbean Medea, ca. 1930. New England Concordance, for TTBB chorus and piano, received its premiere performance in Lexington, MA, on June 3, 2018, by the Boston Sängerfest Men’s Chorus, Thomas Berryman, conductor, and has had subsequent performances by the Harvard and Rutgers Glee Clubs.
On January 20, 2021, The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra presented a retrospective of six of Spratlan’s works as a Zoom webcast, concentrating on the Santa Fe Production of Life is a Dream. Fantasia, for piano, four hands, will receive its premiere on October 3, and Chamber Symphony will be premiered in Amherst, MA, by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor, on October 15, 2021.