Lita Grier, Composer
Lita Grier was named a Chicagoan of the Year in 2005 by the Chicago Tribune. A native New Yorker and now longtime Chicagoan, she won early recognition as a composer when she was awarded First Prize in the New York Philharmonic Young Composer’s Contest at age sixteen. Her winning composition was presented at Carnegie Hall and published by Carl Fischer. The work is still in performance today, along with virtually all of her other early music, including her sonata for flute and piano, composed at age 19, which the late flute virtuoso Julius Baker described as “a new classic in the flute repertory”. After her graduation from Juilliard, she earned a Masters degree under Lukas Foss and Roy Harris at UCLA, before abandoning composition for nearly 30 years. Her successful return in recent years has been described as “unprecedented”, with an ever increasing number of performances, recordings and commissions, most notably Ravinia, with four commissions in five years. Her music is featured on five Cedille Record albums, one completely devoted to her music. Her Requiem Missa Brevis, Healing the Brokenhearted, commissioned in the days following the tragic school shooting in Newtown, was broadcast live, nation-wide, and is published by Boosey & Hawkes.