is a 30 year old composer, violinist, and singer. Yesterday, she also became the youngest person ever, and one of the few women, to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music
for her composition Partita for 8 Voices
. The work features four baroque inspired movements that were influenced by the violin music of Bach, and yet despite the baroque title, Partita is still thoroughly modern. The Pulitzer jury described
it as a "highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects."
Originally composed for the New York based a cappella ensemble Roomful of Teeth
(of which Shaw is also a member), the Partita emphasizes several different vocal traditions from around the world. Roomful of Teeth was founded in 2009 specifically to direct attention to novel non-classical singing techniques with a focus on 21st century composers. They released their first album
, including Shaw's Partita, in October, 2012.
When not writing music for a cappella, Shaw has also written a number of modern chamber music works, many of which are featured on her website
. Some examples of her recent works include:
- Punctum - string quartet inspired by Roland Barthes’ book Camera Lucida
- Boris Kerner - piece for cello and flower pots, inspired by a book about traffic flow theory
- Valencia - string quartet
- Taxidermy - percussion quartet
On the lighter side, her Youtube page also features some funny covers
of popular music she wrote while waiting out Hurricane Sandy.