“Two years devoted exclusively to composition is a luxury almost beyond my ability to imagine,” said Matheson. “My deepest thanks go to the academy – and to the ghosts of Charles and Harmony Ives – for making possible this astonishing gift of time.”
Jury member Steven Stucky, professor of music, said “James Matheson’s music never wallows in the sentimental, never panders, never takes it easy. It has muscle – both intellectual and kinetic – it has passion, and it has integrity. Matheson takes chances; he doesn’t settle for the routine. His gritty, gutsy ardor and eloquent gravity make me think (approvingly) of Sibelius.”
The Chicago Tribune features an interview with Matheson about the Dec. 15 world premiere of his new violin concerto, to be performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.