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Born: 1982, Greenville, North Carolina

“When I have the choice to put information in a score or not, there’s always a careful thought about whether it’s necessary. If I didn’t put this here, would it give a sense of freedom to the performer to do something informed by the rest of the music?”

With an active performing life as a violinist and singer, Caroline Shaw was not sure she wanted to be labeled a “composer” when she became the youngest person ever to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music (for Partita) in 2013, preferring simply “musician.” She continues to sing in the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth and to play the violin – she was the soloist in her new concerto Lo with the Cincinnati Symphony this year – but is also a doctoral candidate in composition at Princeton.

Further listening:Tracks for many of her works can be heard at