Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Percussionist Wins Big Arts Honor

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Percussionist Wins Big Arts Honor

Article excerpt

Percussionist, composer and bandleader Bobby Previte is the winner of the 2015 Greenfield Prize.

He will use the $30,000 prize and a residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key to create a new work, which will be premiered during the 2017 New Music New College season.

The prize was announced Wednesday at a gathering of the board of directors of the Hermitage and the Greenfield Foundation, which partner for the annual prize. As is customary, Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage, made a phone call to deliver the news to Previte, who lives in Buffalo, New York.

Cell phones being what they are, Previte missed the first call, sparking a big laugh from those present when his voice mail answered, "Bobby Previte; call me back." A second call was answered, and Previte received the news with a loud, "WOW! That's marvelous, wow, thank you! How thrilling is this?"

Previte, 63, was selected from a list of about 30 musicians, four of whom were invited to submit proposals. The other semi-finalists - - composers Don Byron, Tyshawn Sorey and Julia Wolfe -- receive $1,000 and Hermitage residencies.

The Greenfield Prize is given annually and rotates between the disciplines of drama, music and theater. Past music recipients were Eve Beglarian and Vijay Iyer.

Previte studied percussion with Jan Williams at the University of Buffalo and has been involved with the downtown jazz and experimental music scene in New York since 1979. His long list of accomplishments and awards includes work with John Adams, Robert Altman, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Tom Waits, and awards from the Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Music Center and the Jerome Foundation.

His most recent project is "Terminals," a double album of five concertos for percussion ensemble and soloists, recorded on vinyl.

His proposal for the Greenfield Prize will be "a companion piece- slash-followup-slash-I don't know what to my last large work," he said in a phone interview Thursday morning.

At the conclusion of the "Terminals" project, Previte brought together the five soloists to play together improvisationally. …

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