Oak Ridge Native Wins Pulitzer Prize in Music

POSTED: APRIL 16, 2019

Oak Ridge native Ellen Reid, 36, has won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in music. The winning piece is Reid’s debut opera titled “p r i s m,” which received nationwide praise.

The Pulitzer Prize Board described p r i s m as “a bold new operatic work that uses sophisticated vocal writing and striking instrumental timbres to confront difficult subject matter: the effects of sexual and emotional abuse.”

“I am blown away and incredibly honored to receive this year’s Pulitzer Prize in music,” Reid said on her Facebook page. “Composing p r i s m was a challenging, rewarding and deeply personal experience, and I hope this opera will help shed light on the experience of surviving sexual assault.”

Reid is a 2001 graduate of Oak Ridge High School. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia University and her Master of Arts from California Institute of the Arts. Reid now splits her time between Los Angeles and New York City while working as a composer and sound artist. Her parents, Randy and Karen Reid, still live in Oak Ridge.

“I never dreamt that writing music could be a viable career path, but I started composing my sophomore year of college and haven’t stopped since,” Reid stated in the biography on her website. “As a kid, I casually sang in choir, played piano and percussion.”

Reid has been an Artist in Residence at National Sawdust, University of California Irvine, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Opera Omaha. In the fall of 2019, Reid begins a three-year appointment as Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

For more information on Ellen Reid, visit her website. For details on this year’s Pulitzer Prize in music, visit https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/ellen-reid.