News and Features

Two Women Win SMU’s Meadows Prize

Violist Nadia Sirota (left) and performance artist Tania Bruguera

For the first time, SMU’s Meadows Prize is being awarded to two solo female performers. The Meadows Prize is designed to bring pioneering artists to Dallas to work with students and create new works. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports this year’s pair certainly qualifies as pioneering.

  • KERA radio story:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Expanded online story:

The first of the Meadows Prize winners who’ll be coming to SMU this year is violist Nadia Sirota. In pop music, Sirota has played for such bands as Grizzly Bear and Arcade Fire on its Grammy-winning album, The Suburbs. But in classical music circles, the Juilliard graduate has performed with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and such innovative ensembles as Alarm Will Sound. She’s also made a name for herself by promoting adventurous new works by young composers. In 2009, Sirota released a solo album The New York Times declared one of the records of the year. The album, First Things First, was full of music Sirota commissioned, including Live Water by Marcos Balter.

The other Meadows Prize winner is Tania Bruguera, a performance and video artist who was born in Cuba and is based in Queens, New York. She has performed throughout the world from the Netherlands to Shanghai to Havana. Most recently, Bruguera has worked on an ongoing project, Immigrant Movement International, that focuses on the political concerns facing immigrants. Five months ago, at the Tate Modern Museum in London, for example, Brueghera created “Surplus Value,” an installation and performance work that, in part, involved random visitors being interrogated by a polygraph expert.

‘Have you ever deliberately overstayed a visa?”

“No.”

“Have you ever been asked to leave a country for any reason?”

“No.”

Previous Meadows Prize recipients include the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird, and the Tony Award-winning Irish playwright Enda Walsh. Both Bruguera and Sirota will receive $25,000 for their residencies in Dallas beginning in April.

  • Excerpt from “Ready, Able” on the Grizzly Bear album, Veckatimest:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Excerpt from “Etude 1A” from FirstThings First:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Tania Bruguera and “Surplus Value” at the Tate Modern, London:


The full release follows:

SMU’S MEADOWS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS AWARDS ANNUAL MEADOWS PRIZE TO

MUSICIAN NADIA SIROTA AND INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTIST TANIA BRUGUERA

 

Sirota and Bruguera Receive $25,000 and Artistic Residencies at Meadows School

 

DALLAS (SMU) — The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University has announced the recipients of its fourth annual Meadows Prize arts residency–violist Nadia Sirota and interdisciplinary artist Tania Bruguera.The Meadows Prize is awarded to pioneering artists and scholars with an emerging international profile, active in a discipline represented by one of the academic units within the Meadows School.

“The aim of the Meadows Prize is to connect artists at the forefront of their fields with our students and with the community – artists who produce new ideas, new work or new methods,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “Nadia and Tania push the boundaries of contemporary music and performance art, and our students will have the incredible opportunity to work directly with them. We are eager to see what develops from their residencies in Dallas.”

Nadia Sirota is best known for her unique interpretations of new scores and for premiering works by some of the most talented composers of her generation, including Marcos Balter, Caleb Burhans, Judd Greenstein, Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly.  She is a founding member of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), yMusic, and the Wordless Music Orchestra and is a regular guest with groups such as the Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound and Continuum.  Her debut album, First Things First, was a New York Times 2009 record of the year.  In addition to her work as a performer, Sirota has served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in its new contemporary music performance master’s degree program since 2007.  She will be in residency at SMU April 1-14, 2013 and October 7-19, 2013and will collaborate with student musicians on the development of new compositions and performance techniques.

Tania Bruguera is a Cuban-born interdisciplinary artist working primarily in behavior art, performance, installation and video – with much of her work pivoting around growing concerns about the political representation and conditions facing immigrants. Her work has been featured in Documenta 11 in Germany and in the Venice, Johannesburg, Sáo Paolo, Shanghai and Havana biennials. In March 2011, Bruguera began a five-year social project, Immigrant Movement International, the first year of which was sponsored by Meadows Prize winner Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art. IM International functions as a think tank for immigrant issues; from its storefront headquarters in Corona, Queens, Bruguera and other staff and volunteers offer free educational, artistic and consciousness-raising activities to a community of immigrants.Bruguera is a proponent of “arte útil” (useful art), meaning art that can be implemented in people’s lives in ways that address social and political problems. In February, she will launch a new project with the Queens Museum and Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, culminating in the transformation of the old building of the Van Abbemuseum into the Museum of Arte Útil this fall.

Bruguera will be in residency at SMU April 7-20, 2013 and September 22-October 5, 2013.

Inaugurated in October 2009, the Meadows Prize is presented each January to up to two pioneering artists. It includes support for a four-week residency in Dallas, in addition to a $25,000 stipend. In return, recipients are expected to interact in a substantive way with Meadows students and collaborating arts organizations, and to leave a lasting legacy in Dallas, such as a work of art that remains in the community, a composition or piece of dramatic writing that would be performed locally, or a new way of teaching in a particular discipline.

For more information about the Meadows Prize and an exclusive interview with Nadia Sirota, visit smu.edu/meadows.

NADIA SIROTA

Hailed by TheNew York Times as “a bold new-music interpreter and the violist of choice among downtown ensembles these days,” violist Nadia Sirota has been praised for her “command and eloquence” (Boston Globe) and for being one of New York’s “brightest, busiest players” (Time Out New York). She is best known for her unique interpretations of new scores and for commissioning and premiering works by some of the most talented composers of her generation, including Marcos Balter, Caleb Burhans, Judd Greenstein, Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly. Her debut album, First Things First (New Amsterdam Records), “a collection of vital, imaginative recent scores” (New York Times), was a New York Times 2009 record of the year. A regular guest with such groups as the Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound and Continuum, she is a founding member of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), yMusic and the Wordless Music Orchestra.

 

In addition to performing classical concert music, Sirota has performed with such songwriters and bands as Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stars of the Lid, The Swell Season, Sam Amidon, Doveman, Bryce Dessner, Gabriel Kahane, Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurðsson, and can be heard on new and recent albums by Grizzly Bear, Jónsi, The National, Ratatat, Doveman and My Brightest Diamond, and on Arcade Fire’ sGrammy-winning album The Suburbs.

She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she performed as co-founder of the AXIOM ensemble, initiated the Castleman/Amory/Huang studio’s New Music Project, and created the “Juilliard Plays Juilliard” program for student composers and performers. After winning the top prize in Juilliard’s 2005 concerto competition, she performed Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher with conductor Marin Alsop and the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall. As a chamber musician, Sirota has collaborated with such artists as Joseph Kalichstein, Itzhak Perlman and the Silk Road Ensemble, as well as with members of Kronos Quartet, the Chiara Quartet and the Peabody Trio. In fall 2007, she joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music for its new master’s degree program in contemporary music performance.

Sirota has performed in-studio for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NPR’s Morning Edition, BBC Radio 3, CBS Morning Edition and A&E Breakfast with the Arts.  Up to August 2012, she hosted “Nadia Sirota on Q2,” a four-hour daily program devoted to contemporary music on WQXR’s Internet radio stream Q2. Prior to that she hosted Overnight Music on WNYC and WQXR.Overnight Music was awarded an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Radio and Internet Broadcast in 2010, and was described by Alex Ross of The New Yorker as “radio we can believe in.”

 

TANIA BRUGUERA

Tania Bruguera is one of the leading political and performance artists of her generation. Her work researches ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life; she seeks to create a public forum to debate ideas shown in their state of contradictions and to focus on the transformation of the condition of “viewer” into one of “citizenry.” Bruguera uses the terms “arte de conducta” (conduct/behavior art) and “arte útil” (useful art) to define her practice. She works on appropriating the resources of power to create power, and on creating political situations through art.

Bruguera has been a participant in Documenta 11 in Germany as well as in the biennials of Venice, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Havana and Site Santa Fe.Her work has also been exhibited at the New Museum in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum (The Netherlands); Museum für Moderne Kunst (Germany); Helsinki Art Museum (Finland); Whitechapel Gallery (England); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam (Cuba); and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Cuba). She has performed at the Kunsthalle Wien (Austria); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Belgium); Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico); Museo de Bellas Artes (Venezuela); and the Institute of International Visual Arts (England), among others.

Bruguera has lectured extensively at such venues as The New School in New York, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Royal College of Art in London and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1998 she was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 2000 she received the Prince Claus Prize from The Netherlands.

Her work is part of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, artists’ books collection; Bronx Museum of the Arts; JP Morgan Chase Bank; Museum für Moderne Kunst (Germany); Daros Foundation (Switzerland); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam (Cuba); and the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (England).

She was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; San Francisco Art Institute; Headlands Center for the Arts; ART/OMI International Workshop; Khoj artists’ residency (India); Western Front (Canada); and Gasworks (England).

Bruguera is a graduate of the M.F.A. program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and of the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, where she founded and directed Arte de Conducta, the first political art studies program in the world.  Currently she is a visiting faculty member at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the IUAV in Venice and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

ABOUT THE MEADOWS PRIZE

The Meadows Prize replaced the Meadows Award, which was given annually from 1981 to 2003 to honor the accomplishments of an artist at the pinnacle of a distinguished career.   Meadows Prize recipients must be pioneering artists and scholars with an emerging international profile, active in a discipline represented by one of the academic units within the Meadows School: advertising, art, art history, arts management and arts entrepreneurship, communication studies, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music and theatre.

The Meadows Prize is sponsored by the Meadows School and The Meadows Foundation.

The first two winners of the Meadows Prizewere Grammy-winning contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird and New York-based public arts organization Creative Time. Eighth blackbird’s residency focused on developing new curriculum to help musicians become more entrepreneurial and engaged in their own career plans.  It became part of a new Meadows School initiative that included the launch of the nation’s first minor in arts entrepreneurship.  Creative Time’s residency took the form of three visits to Dallas to meet with a wide range of members of the arts community, including artists, collectors, gallery and museum executives, critics, government officials, educators and others, culminating in a report with recommendations for growing and nurturing the arts in Dallas.

The second two winners were playwright and performer Will Power and choreographer Shen Wei,artistic director of New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts. Power’s work in Dallas wasa partnership between the Meadows School and the Dallas Theater Center. During his Meadows residency in fall 2011, Power and a group of theatre students created a new play, Alice Underground, which was performed at the Meadows School.Shen Wei’s residency in Dallas resulted in an original work, The New You, choreographed for SMU dance students and presented at their 2012 Spring Dance Concert.

The winners for the 2012-13 academic year were two Irish artists—choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan and Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh.  Both were in residency at Meadows in fall 2012 for four weeks, during which they collaborated with theatre students to create a new work.  Their residency concluded with aperformance of the piece, and discussions are now under way to give thework a wider showing.

###

 

ABOUT THE MEADOWS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

The Meadows School of the Arts, established in 1969 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has achieved prominence as one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. It comprises 10 academic divisions: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art, Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Communication Studies, Dance, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, Music and Theatre. The goal of the Meadows School of the Arts is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers, as well as to provide opportunities for all SMU students and the broader Dallas community to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the arts.

While maintaining the highest level of craft in all of its disciplines, the Meadows School aims to be the most innovative arts and communications school in the country, developing new curricular initiatives including the first master’s degree in international arts management and a number of interdisciplinary minors such as arts entrepreneurship. The Meadows School is a leader in developing pioneering outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art, entrepreneurship and social change.