German composer Wolfgang Rihm, 62, has won the 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his In-Schrift 2,commissioned last year by the Berlin Philharmonic to honor the 50thanniversary of the Philharmonie.
Rihm's prize is the first of the five Grawemeyer Awards, $100,000 each; the others go to ideas improving world order, psychology, education, and religion.
"The work evokes dark colors and uses mostly low instruments--no flutes, violins, or violas, for example," Award Director Marc Satterwhite said. "It begins and ends in quiet and mystery, taking many interesting paths along the way."
Described as an exploration of spatial boundaries, the 15-minute piece uses six clarinetists and three percussionists. At its 2013 premiere, they were stationed in various spots around the room.