Aaron Jay Kernis, left, worked with concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis and young composer Daniel Bradshaw at the 2007 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute/photo by David Brewster.


Composer Aaron Jay Kernis is $100,000 richer. Kernis, who has long been associated with the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute, won the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition at Northwestern University. The award is made biennially for contributions to the world of composition. John Luther Adams was the 2010 winner.

Kernis, who teaches at Yale, won the 1998 Pulitizer Prize and the 2002 Grawemeyer Award, which carried a $150,000 prize.

In addition to the cash award for the Nemmers honor, one of Kernis’ works will be performed during the 2013-14 season by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

From 1993 to 1996, Kernis was composer in residence with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He served as new music advisor for the Minnesota Orchestra from 1998-2009. He also founded the orchestra’s annual Composer Institute, a program for emerging composers that culminates with the Future Classics concert.

Kernis has written several commissions for both local orchestras, in addition to work for Renee Fleming, Joshua Bell, the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony.

The Nemmers prize is named for a former faculty member at Northwestern. Kernis is expected to hold four residencies at the Evanston, Ill., campus during the next two years.

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