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Morten Lauridsen, 1943-Present
The music of Morten Lauridsen occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the Twenty-First Century. His eight vocal cycles, instrumental works, art songs and series of motets (including O Magnum Mysterium) are performed throughout the world. In 2006, Mr. Lauridsen was named an American Choral Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2007 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest artistic award in the United States, by the President in a White House ceremony for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth.
Classical Chops interviews Morten Lauridsen who describes his process on writing his popular choral song "Dirait-On".
Referring to Lauridsen's sacred music, the musicologist and conductor Nick Strimple said he was the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic, (whose) probing, serene work contains an elusive and indefinable ingredient which leaves the impression that all the questions have been answered. From 1993 Lauridsen's music rapidly increased in international popularity, and by century's end he had eclipsed Randall Thompson as the most frequently performed American choral composer.