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most prestigious and lucrative honors. On Monday, Neuwirth was announced as the winner of the 2022 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, which includes $100,000. She was recognized for her opera Orlando, which had its world premiere at the Vienna State Opera in December 2019—the first opera composed by a woman ever to be mounted by that venerable company.

Wiener StaatsoperYouTube

Neuwirth co-authored the opera's libretto with Catherine Filloux, inspired by Virginia Woolf's novel of the same title. The novel, concerning a young male poet in 16th-century England who mysteriously transforms into a woman, deals with gender fluidity in a prescient and timely way.

"I wanted to reflect the wonderful diversity of life and evoke a subtle form of sexual attraction that cannot be pigeonholed into a single gender," Neuwirth said in a press statement provided by the University of Louisville. "What's more, the main character refuses to be patronized and treated in a condescending manner, something that continually happens to women with no end in sight."

In fashioning the sound world for Orlando, Neuwirth called upon enormous forces for a polyglot score ranging from Tudor balladry to punk rock and electronic noise. As staged in Vienna, the opera also included a brassy tour de force spotlight number for the transgender cabaret artist Justin Vivian Bond, billed as "Orlando's child."

"Orlando is an enormous, supremely ambitious work," Marc Satterwhite, who directs the Grawemeyer music award, said in a press statement. "The libretto and multifaceted score challenge our preconceptions of gender and sexual roles and test our ideas of what opera is and is not. It also seems appropriate that the first female-composed opera to be performed at the Vienna State Opera, a venue long regarded as a bastion of tradition, should take aim at these issues."

The prize was announced this morning by the University of Louisville, which sponsors the award. Former winners include Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Thomas Adès and Andrew Norman. Neuwirth is the fourth woman composer to claim the prize, previously awarded to Joan Tower, Kaija Saariaho and Unsuk Chin.

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Be on KRCB 104.9...answer this month's "Talk to Me" question: With fire season upon us, are you having second thoughts about Sonoma County?
 
You can do a recording right from your computer or smartphone, but please use an external microphone (ear buds are good enough). Don't worry, you can try as many times you like until you get a "good take." We won’t hear any of the bad ones. After you finish, the page will give you a chance to listen and decide if you like it. Once you get a good one, you'll be asked for your name and email address. Then hit "Send.” (Click "reset" if you would rather try again.)
 
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Listen to the Sonoma County Birdwatch!

fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Here's what we've aired so far. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds: atowhee.blog.  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at http://www.towhee.net/.

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Get yours today at these friends of KRCB:
 
-Stanroy Music, Santa Rosa
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They might look like bumper stickers, but they're meant to stick to the inside surface of glass.

We've got a new thing: text KRCB to (707) 606-0911. Or just add your cell number below. We'll text you back when we have something special on the radio--so you can listen live or with a link to listen later. No spam! Not more than once a week or so. Try KRCB-Me.

8ff1 Asset 6 p 500Our podcast "Living Downstream" has been named by the Global Center for Climate Justice as one of "Five Climate Justice Podcasts You Need to Follow." Wow: https://bit.ly/2Xkbs0D

Listen to some recent episodes! Generations in Houston's Fifth Ward Contend with Contamination, Cancer Clusters will break your heart, and perhaps solidify your resolve to make change. The Sea Next Door is told in true partnership with the community living near California's Salton Sea, an environmental powder keg, where the state has no idea how to avoid a coming health disaster.

Get them here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

 

 
Postcards from Sonoma County...
        ... What people are talking about, direct from the locals.
 
Each week, our correspondents from all over Sonoma County check in with a weekly "postcard" of what people are talking about in their area. Not always "news," but still worthy of a mention. It's our way to give voice to communities that may not make it into the standard news cycle.
 
We play these in a random rotation throughout the week. Generally, each postcard airs from Sunday morning at midnight thru Saturday at 11:59:59 pm.
 
We archive all our postcards here. Have a listen!
 

 Week of Sunday, January 9th, 2022:
 
Greetings from Healdsburg
 
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Sebastopol
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
 
 

 
Week of Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:
 
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
 
 
Greetings from Petaluma
 
 
Greetings from Rohnert Park
 
 
Greetings from Windsor
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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