The Columbia University School of the Arts has just named John Zorn the 2007 recipient of its William Schuman Award. Named for its first recipient and presented periodically by the dean of the School of the Arts, the award is an unrestricted grant of $50,000. Previous winners have included David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, Milton Babbitt, Hugo Weisgall and Steve Reich.
Says the school's acting dean, Dan Kleinman, in the official press release: "The School of the Arts is pleased to present the William Schuman Award to John Zorn, whose astonishingly diverse and extraordinary body of work has enlightened, startled and enchanted its listeners. His lasting contribution to the repertoire of today has changed the landscape of composition."
Zorn, who also won a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in September 2006, will be treated to a concert and award ceremony on Thursday, April 26 at Miller Theatre, details of which are to be announced.
Also quoted in this press release was a delightful line I'd never seen before, from a review by Justin Davidson in Newsday (context unknown): "Zorn has a mind as preposterously inexhaustible as Mary Poppins' carpetbag."