Music Professor Honored by State Library, Named Composer-in-Residence for Festival

March 06, 2012

March 6, 2011 — University of Virginia music professor and composer Judith Shatin was recently named one of the 2012 Virginia Women in History by the Library of Virginia, an honor shared among eight contemporary and historical Virginia women.

Shatin, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Music in the College of Arts & Sciences, is also the composer-in-residence for this week's Women Composer's Festival in Hartford, Conn.

The Library of Virginia award is part of an educational program that recognizes the accomplishments of Virginia women. The eight winners are featured on a poster and in an exhibition on display at the lobby of the Library of Virginia through the end of March. The exhibit will then travel to libraries, schools and other institutions across the state.

In addition to Shatin, winners include Christiana Burdett Campbell, a colonial-era innkeeper in Williamsburg, and Monica Beltran, an Iraq war veteran who was the first female Virginia National Guard member to be awarded a Bronze Star.

"They are being recognized for being visionaries and pioneers, for their courage, creativity, and business acumen," Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway said of the winners in a release. "Young people will be inspired by their stories and teachers will be able to plan classroom activities for Women's History Month using the poster and the learning activities available on our website."

For her part, Shatin said she was honored to be chosen.

"I was quite interested to learn about the other women the Library of Virginia has chosen in this and other years," she said. "I was impressed by the fact that they don't just focus on people of the here-and-now, but that they are also looking at what women have contributed to the state historically."

The recipients will be honored March 29 at a celebration of Women's History Month at the Library of Virginia.

Shatin, an innovator in computer music and founder of the Virginia Center for Computer Music, composes both acoustic and digital music, with four of her pieces to be performed this week at the Women Composer's Festival of Hartford.

As composer-in-residence, Shatin will also deliver several lectures, including those at the Hartt School and Trinity College.

The featured pieces include "Hearing the Call," scored for paired snare drums and trumpets, and commissioned by the National Symphony Hechinger Fanfare Commission; "Elijah's Chariot," for amplified string quartet and electronics, commissioned and toured internationally by the Kronos Quartet; "View from Mt. Nebo," a piano trio commissioned by the Garth Newel Chamber Players; and "Grito del Corazón" for trombone and electronics, originally commissioned by Barcelona New Music Ensemble. Sounds clips are available at Shatin's website.

"To me, working with performers and working with live performance is always a joy," she said. "I look at live performance as a wonderfully collaborative activity."

Shatin was also recently profiled in American Composer magazine.

– by Rob Seal