We are proud to announce that our management client Tyshawn Sorey is a 2017 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for “assimilating and transforming ideas from a broad spectrum of musical idioms and defying distinctions between genres, composition, and improvisation in a singular expression of contemporary music.” In their statement, the MacArthur Foundation also praised his “refined sense of restraint and balance that allows him to maintain his own unique voice while bringing a vast array of musical settings to life.”

Sorey is among 24 other esteemed 2017 MacArthur Fellows, who span a range of disciplines including visual art, human rights and social justice, theater, writing, history and more. The MacArthur Fellowship, often known as the “Genius Grant”, distributes a no-strings-attached $625,000, distributed over five years, to these select individuals. In an interview with National Public Radio, Sorey said: “I’ve been recognized for doing something that I truly have believed in, and worked on for the past 20-odd years. It’s a blessing.” Sorey joins many of his immediate musical colleagues, regular collaborators and mentors who have been awarded the MacArthur in previous years – Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, George Lewis, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran (with whom he’ll play Thelonious Monk duets with at Duke University this month.)

The news of the MacArthur fellowship comes amidst an already historic year for Sorey. In September, Sorey began a new faculty appointment as Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut; released the stunning and widely praised Verisimilitude on Pi Recordings this August; and toured widely. Sorey had notable premieres of his compositions at the Ojai Music Festival, in performance with the International Contemporary Ensemble, hisDouble Trio, and led musicians through his conduction language which he’s dubbed “Autoschediasms.”

For the fifth consecutive year, Sorey taught at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music – for the first time in the program led by Claire Chase/Steven Schick, and the fifth time in the program led by 2012 MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer.

Sorey will be Artist-in-Residence at the 2017 Berlin Jazz Festival aka Berliner Jazzfestspiele with his acclaimed trio with Chris Tordini and Cory Smythe. He will continue his work with conduction, with a group of select students from the Jazz Institut Berlin, presenting “Live Autoschediasm for Electro-Acoustic Creative Orchestra.”

Sorey will also premiere “Cycles of My Being,” commissioned as part of Carnegie Hall‘s 125 Commissions ProjectFebruary 20 at OperaPhiladelphia, a song cycle with original text provided by poet and fellow MacArthur Fellow Terrence Hayes featuring tenor Lawrence Brownlee and an ensemble featuring piano, clarinet & bass clarinet, violin and cello. The New York premiere will be held April 24 at Carnegie Hall.

Since the announcement, many outlets have published interviews and profiles of Sorey, including NPRChicago TribuneHartford CourantNew England Public Radio, and more.



“The composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey, a Newark native, who turns thirty-seven this month, is among the most formidable denizens of the zone
[between classical music and jazz]”  – The New Yorker

“Mr. Sorey…is a preternaturally talented multi-instrumentalist who has built a career in the territory between standard definitions.” – The New York Times

“…exceptional and unmatched creativity.” – AllAboutJazz

“The great imaginative breadth of Sorey’s vision, and the fierce clarity with which he pursues it, have earned him admiring endorsements in high places.” – WBGO

“Sorey’s new album Versimilitude is an extraordinary work, more or less certain to appear on my list of the best releases of 2017.” – Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise


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