In mid-May, the American Academy of Arts and Letters will induct twelve new members into the 250-person organization, including composer and NEC alum David Rakowski '80 B.M. At this ceremony, NEC senior Sonnet Swire '16 B.M., a composition major, will accept the Charles Ives Scholarship award of $7,500. The award is presented to composition students “of great promise.”
David Rakowski '80 is Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition at Brandeis Universitiy. More
About Sonnet Swire
With instrumentation described as “a stroke of genius,” by Oliver Knussen, Sonnet Swire has proven herself to be an engaging, emerging composer at her young age. She started her musical journey relatively late; she picked up the tuba at age twelve, and didn’t start learning the theory behind the music until her sophomore year of high school, where she was required to compose a short piece as a final exam in her music theory class. The tuba took a back seat as her composer aspirations led her to New England Conservatory, where, during her freshmen year, she was referred to as a “Freshwoman (!) setting an exhilarating vernal tone” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer regarding the Jordan Hall debut of one her compositions in 2013. In addition to this, Sonnet is the former co-director of NEC's composition student showcase series, Tuesday Night New Music, where she still premieres most of the work she has done at the Conservatory. Sonnet's work is starting to be recognized and performed across the United States and Canada, and she had her European debut at La Schola Cantorum in Paris in 2014. She currently continues her studies with composer John Heiss at New England Conservatory.