American Prize Finalist: The New Colossus

May 17, 2023

Oliver is a Finalist for the American Prize in Vocal Chamber Music for The New Colossus, his setting of the iconic Emma Lazarus Poem that graces the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty (“give me your tired, your poor”)

Oliver writes:

America was founded in 1776, a nation of immigrants. Now, we talk about walls, about here versus there, about fear, about sharing, about keeping, and keeping out. But over a century ago, in 1883, author Emma Lazarus penned a sonnet so powerful it would come to symbolize our nation’s place in the world for generations. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp,” she wrote. “Give me your tired, your poor.” What could be more patriotic then this poem inscribed on one of our greatest national icons, the Statue of Liberty? I set Lazarus’s words to music in honor of those who’ve found a home in America and those who wait yet “beside the golden door.”

The American Prize is a national competition, recognizing excellence in the arts.

This entry was posted in Awards, News.

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