Stevie Wonder Second Winner of Gershwin Prize
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Stevie Wonder, who helped define the sound of black America as a 12-year-old singing sensation and made pop hits for more than four decades, was awarded the Gershwin Prize by the Library of Congress, which put in a request of the 58-year-old composer: Write us another one.
The library commissioned Mr. Wonder to write a musical work for violin and keyboards that’s 10 to 18 minutes long, said Susan Vita, a spokeswoman for its music division. The piece could be a score just for a violin, piano, or keyboard, or “a multi-movement chamber work,” she said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Wonder is the second musician to receive the prize. Last year, Paul Simon was awarded the first Gershwin Prize.
He will receive the award on February 23, and will perform his commissioned work earlier that evening at the library’s Coolidge Auditorium, Ms. Vita said. Other musicians who have written works for the Library of Congress include composers Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, and Latin jazz master Paquito D’Rivera.
The Library of Congress created the Gershwin Award in honor of composers George and Ira Gershwin, whose manuscript collection is housed at the institution located in Washington.