School of Music


    Notes alla Breve

Climate change-inspired piece wins Grawemeyer music award


Chinese-American composer Lei Liang has won the 2020 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for an orchestral work evoking the threat posed by climate change and the opportunity it offers for redemption. Boston Modern Orchestra Project commissioned the winning piece, “A Thousand Mountains, a Million Streams,” which premiered in 2018 in Boston’s Jordan Hall with Gil Rose conducting.

“The world we live in today is dangerous,” Liang said. “Our very existence is threatened by global warming, which is causing violent disruptions to the living things on our planet and being made worse by human irresponsibility.”

Liang, 47, is a music professor at University of California, San Diego, and research-artist-in-residence at Qualcomm Institute, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. He has composed more than 100 works, including pieces addressing other contemporary social issues such as human trafficking and gun violence.


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Before retiring to Florida in 2004, Hoover taught instrumental music at Atherton, Seneca, and Ballard high schools and at several middle and elementary schools in the Jefferson County Public School systems. Hoover served as the University of Louisville’s director of bands for several years. He played French horn in the Louisville Orchestra and served as bandmaster of the National Guard’s 202nd Army Band. Hoover also served as conductor of the River Cities Concert Band. Since retirement, Hoover has organized and performed with wind ensembles in the Tampa area. John M. Hoover received his Bachelor of Music Education in 1963 and his Master of Music in 1969, from the University of Louisville.