Doris Duke Artist Award, 2014
Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA
Roscoe Mitchell is an avant-garde jazz and contemporary music icon, currently serving as the Darius Milhaud Chair of Composition at Mills College (CA). He is a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the Trio Space, and founder of the Creative Arts Collective (MI). He leads several ensembles and his oeuvre boasts hundreds of albums and compositions. For more than 35 years, he has developed the Percussion Cage, an elaborate percussion instrument consisting of instruments of worldwide origin in addition to found objects. His honors include a John Cage Award (FOC), multiple grants from National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and Mutable Music. Last year, he celebrated the AACM's 50th Anniversary with lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and recordings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In 2016, he is redoubling his compositional efforts, beginning with the world premiere of “Conversations for Orchestra,” performed by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra with conductor Ilan Volkov.