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A native New Yorker and now longtime Chicagoan, Lita Grier won early recognition as a composer. She was awarded First Prize in the New York Philharmonic Young Composer’s Contest at age sixteen; her winning composition was presented at Carnegie Hall and published by Carl Fischer.  The work is still in performance today, along with virtually all of her other early music, including her sonata for flute and piano, composed at age nineteen, which the late flute virtuoso Julius Baker described as “a new classic in the standard flute repertory.”.
A graduate of Juilliard, where she was a student of Peter Mennin, Lita subsequently studied at Tanglewood with Lukas Foss, also attending master classes with Aaron Copland, and earned a masters degree at UCLA under Lukas Foss and Roy Harris, along with the school’s Atwater Kent Prize before abandoning composition for some 30 years.
Her successful return to composition in recent years described as "unprecedented" has been welcomed with an ever increasing number of performances, recordings and commissions, most prominently from the Ravinia Festival, with four commissions in five years. In 2005 she was named a “Chicagoan of the Year” in music by the Chicago Tribune.

 

CRITICS WELCOME LITA GRIER'S RETURN TO COMPOSITION AFTER A 30-YEAR BREAK

 “Her album represents how an extraordinarily gifted composer was able to defy history and return to creating vibrant music after a 30-year hiatus.” 
Cedille Records, Songs from Spoon River Album Notes

“The first-ever disc of a talent dormant far too long… a long overdue tribute to a woman whose compositional corpus is long overdue itself.” 
Audiophile Audition

“While you may understandably have been unaware of Lita Grier’s music during the past 30 years, here’s your chance to correct the situation – and to show your support for a composer who held out for creative integrity over blind devotion to faddish, stylistic conformity.  You’ve gotta love that – and you’ll really enjoy this well-conceived, excellently performed program.  Highly recommended.”
Classics Today

“I like Grier and want to hear more…She certainly has craft…building in coherence through a sophisticated motific development and a genuinely dramatic touch…You sense a big nature behind the notes.”
Classicalcdreviewcom,

“This is a fascinating program and I'm pleased to recommend it. I'm also glad Lita Grier is back on the job and suspect you will be too.”
American Record Guide 

“Grier seemingly has an inborn knack for judicious selection of texts and skill for making the notes caress them and bring them to life. ..These works are a marvelous addition to the art song repertoire.”
Classical Voice of New England

“Lita Grier's story is one of the most gratifying in the business. At the tender age of sixteen she won first prize in the New York Philharmonic Young Composer's Contest, but eventually set composition aside...Thirty years later, she returned to serious composition and the result has been a thrilling new chapter in her musical life.”
Journal of Singing

“For fans of contemporary American art song, the new recording of songs by Lita Grier is a “must-hear”.  Following a 30-year hiatus, Grier’s compositional career has blossomed with new
life, resulting in no less than five world premiere recordings on this disc.”
IAWM Journal