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Maria Schneider Wins ASCAP Foundation’s Life in Music Award

Composer honored for a career that exemplifies “creative excellence"

Maria Schneider

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has named jazz composer, arranger and bandleader Maria Schneider one of two 2016 recipients of the ASCAP Foundation’s Life in Music Award. Schneider is being honored, said Foundation president Paul Williams, “for her inventive works in classical and jazz,” and for a career that exemplifies “the creative excellence that is at the heart of the Life in Music Award.”

Along with her fellow honoree, celebrated choral composer Morten Lauridsen, Schneider will be fêted on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Honors. This invitation-only event will be hosted in the Appel Room and Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall on Broadway at 60th Street in New York City.

Schneider’s award hails a career that has brought her five Grammys (out of a total 12 nominations), including the first ever awarded for an online-only release, for 2004’s ArtistShare-funded Concert in the Garden. Her most recent Grammy wins came earlier this year, when The Thompson Fields, featuring her 18-piece Maria Schneider Orchestra, was awarded Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Schneider also received the award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocal, for David Bowie’s “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime),” featuring the late vocalist and songwriter backed by Schneider’s orchestra.

Schneider’s additional accolades include a 2012 honorary doctorate from her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, and a 2014 ASCAP Concert Music Award (for her Grammy-winning classical composition Winter Morning Walks).

Schneider has been a powerful voice for creators’ rights in music and the arts. In 2014, she testified on the subject of Internet music piracy before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and has participated in roundtable discussions of the subject with the U.S. Copyright Office. Schneider is the founder of the creators’ rights advocacy group

The Life in Music Award is presented by the Foundation in recognition of “outstanding accomplishments as a composer, songwriter, performer, arranger or vocalist in any genre.” Past recipients include jazz pianist-composer Horace Silver, country artists Johnny and June Carter Cash and songwriter/activist Jesse Winchester.

The awards ceremony will feature performances by emerging artists in a variety of genres. Other awards to be presented include the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award; the Harold Adamson Lyric Award; and the “Reach Out and Touch” Award, in honor of R&B vocalist and songwriter Nick Ashford.

For additional information about the ASCAP Foundation, visit

Originally Published