This past Saturday (June 11) The University of Chicago awarded Sophia Gubaidulina with an honorary doctorate.
Taken from the University of Chicago website:
World-renowned composer Sofia Gubaidulina will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Gubaidulina, who is of Russian and Tatar descent, is known for a prolific body of work that melds Russian, Central Asian and Western influences. Her symphonic works are “at turns ecstatic and apocalyptic, intense in their religiosity and uncompromising in their originality,” critic David Patrick Stearns wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Although her singular, haunting style was at odds with the Soviet musical establishment, Gubaidulina gained a devoted following in Russia. In 1985, she was allowed to travel to the West for the first time, where she soon found an equally appreciative audience.
She has received commissions from major ensembles worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is perhaps best known for her 1980 violin concerto, the Offertorium and her 2002 Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ according to St. John.
She has received numerous honors for her work, including Japan’s Praemium Imperiale, the Russian State Prize, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, and the Koussevitzky International Recording Award.
Shulamit Ran, the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor in Music and the College, will present Gubaidulina at the ceremony.
Here is a clip from Gubaidulina’s Saint John Passion, mentioned above: