Album performer Björk, UH music teacher named Pulitzer finalist

Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

The Pulitzer Prize for Music finalist is the latest major accolade for a university in Hawaii to music teacher Mānoa. Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) musician, composer and scholar Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti was named one of two Pulitzer finalists for a composition titled “With Eyes the Color of Time.”

recording equipment and people playing violas
Eli Spindel conducts the viola section of the String Orchestra of Brooklyn on the first recording of with eyes the color of time, Oktaven Audio, NY. (Photo credit: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti)

The 32-minute piece is inspired by the works of the Contemporary Museum (Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House) when it opened in 1988. The Honolulu Museum of Art closed its Spalding House location to the public in 2019. The piece premiered on 6 august. , 2021, at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn.

The composition combines experimental string textures and melting episodes of lyricism. Artwork featured includes: Kinetic Sculpture by George Rickey Two triangles open upwards, revolving III (1988), Deborah Butterfield Nahele (1986), by James Seawright shimmer XV (1987), the moons of Toshiko Takaezu (a series of sculptures that she often designates by the Hawaiian word, mahina) and David Hockney The Child and the Spells (originally conceived as a setting for Maurice Ravel’s opera of the same name). The title of the entire work, “with the eyes of the color of time”, comes from a phrase from Ravel’s opera.

“I immediately called my collaborators at the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, sound engineer Ryan Streber and head of New Focus Recordings, Dan Lippel, to share the news and thank them for their incredible and generous work on the recording of this piece – a big part of what the committee used to evaluate the work. I’m so grateful to everyone who made this possible, and it was exciting to be able to share the news with them!” says Lanzilotti. finalist is a great honor, especially with this year’s wonderful cohort: fellow finalist Andy Akiho and winner Raven Chacon!”

Learn more about Lanzilotti

musical notes on a page
Close-up on the score “With the eyes the color of time” (Photo credit: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti)

Lanzilotti is currently a uh Lecturer Mānoa in musical composition and viola. She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2020 Native Launchpad Artist Award, a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award, and 2021 McKnight Visiting Composer Residency.

As a recording artist, Lanzilotti played viola on albums, including Björk’s Vulnicura Liveby Joan Osborne love and hateby Dai Fujikura Luck Monsoon and David Lang anatomy theater. She has also published articles in Music & Literature and Neue Zeitschrift für Musikand wrote program notes for the London Symphony Orchestra.

The Honolulu native studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music and Manhattan School of Music. Lanzilotti has served on the faculty of New York University, University of Northern Colorado, Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, and Point CounterPoint Music Festival.

sculpture with bars on the grassy lawn
by Isamu Noguchi sky gate (Photo credit: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti)

Lanzilotti’s next concert in Honolulu will be on May 26 at noon at the City and County of Honolulu Civic Center. Chamber music Hawaii will present the world premiere of his new play titled “sky gatewhich pays homage to the sculpture of Isamu Noguchi on the Civic Center grounds.

Lanzilotti’s work is an example of uh Mānoa’s goals of Become a Hawaiian place of learning (PDF) and Research Excellence: Advancing the Enterprise of Research and Creative Work (PDF), two of the four objectives identified in the Strategic Plan 2015-2025 (PDF), updated December 2020.

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