New VCCA Fellowship in Memory of Composer George Edwards

In memory of her husband, composer George Edwards, Rachel Hadas has established the George Edwards and Rachel Hadas Endowment for Fellowships at VCCA. The two-week Fellowship will be presented annually beginning in 2014. Each year, it will alternate between composer, creative writer, and visual artist.

George Edwards, who died in 2011, was a three-time VCCA Fellow. In addition to his significant public career as a composer and critic, Edwards had a long and distinquished career at Columbia University. Hadas is establishing the endowment to memorialize her husband’s work by encouraging more composers to apply for VCCA residencies; and to inspire other Fellows to consider establishing their own endowments.

If you would like to contribute to the George Edwards and Rachel Hadas Endowment for Fellowships at VCCA, please click here.

George Edwards taught music theory and composition at the New England Conservatory in Boston from 1969 to 1976. He was a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome from 1973 to 1975, and won the Rome Prize in Composition in 1975. In 1977 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in both 1980 and 1986, and earned tenure at Columbia in 1987, heading the composition program from 1987 to 1995. He also served on the Advisory Committee of the Alice M. Ditson Fund from 1988 to 2005, serving as the Committee’s Secretary from 1995 to 1998. He served as Chair of the Department of Music at Columbia from 1996 to 1999. After his retirement in 2006, he was named Edward MacDowell Emeritus Professor of Music by Columbia’s Board of Trustees. 

On Friday, September 28, the Department of Music at Columbia University held a Memorial celebrating the life of George Edwards. Two of his compositions were performed: Suave Mari Magno and The Isle is Full of Noises. You can here his Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano here.
Currently living in New York, Rachel Hadas is a four-time VCCA Fellow. She studied classics at Harvard, poetry at Johns Hopkins, and comparative literature at Princeton. Since 1981 she has taught in the English Department of the Newark (NJ) campus of Rutgers University, and has also taught courses in literature and writing at Columbia and Princeton, as well as serving on the poetry faculty of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the West Chester Poetry Conference. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Hadas is the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and translations. She recently co-edited the anthology The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present (Norton 2009). Her latest book of poems is The Ache of Appetite (Copper Beech Press 2010). Last year, her book of prose about her husband’s illness was published entitled Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (Paul Dry Books).


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