Music Composition Alumnus Tyshawn Sorey Named MacArthur “Genius”

January 23, 2020
Tyshawn Sorey

Composer and musician Tyshawn Sorey ('17DMA, Music Composition) was named to the 2017 class of MacArthur Fellows, the MacArthur Foundation announced on October 11. The prestigious fellowship, also known as the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, offers a $625,000, no-strings-attached award to “extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.”

Sorey, who plays the trombone, piano, and percussion in addition to composing and conducting, received the award 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.”

Recently hailed by The New Yorker as “a prodigious multi-instrumentalist and composer transcends the borders of jazz, classical, and experimental music,” Sorey has created work for his own ensembles and artists including Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lehman. He has recorded six albums, most recently Verisimilitude.

Watch the MacArthur Foundation’s video about Sorey