Marilyn Shrude, Composer


In this unplanned “Year of the Woman” for the Cleveland Arts Prize, Marilyn Shrude holds a special distinction: She is the first woman composer in the 37 years of these awards to win the prize for music.

Although born in Chicago, Marilyn Shrude has been a notable presence on the Northern Ohio musical scene for more than 20 years. On the faculty of Bowling Green State University (BGSU) since 1977 and a professor since 1984, she has become one of the most highly respected creative musicians of this region. Her works have been heard here in major performances by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Cleveland Institute of Music New Music Ensemble, at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at other venues. Shrude’s music has been characterized as poetic, communicative and refreshingly non-doctrinaire.

Shrude earned a Mus.B. degree from Alverno College and master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University; her teachers have included Alan Stout, William Karlins and Karel Paukert. She has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp and established the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at BGSU. In addition, she has initiated numerous special programs in schools, directed festivals and served as a catalyst for new music and musical technology both here in Ohio and nationally.

Marilyn Shrude’s many prizes and honors include the Music Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Ohioana Award in Composition, a Chamber Music Americana/ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council.

Her published catalogue is extensive, and many of her works have enjoyed multiple performances across the country, in Europe and in Asia. Over a dozen pieces have been recorded. She has held residencies at some two dozen schools and six colleges, and she continues to receive major commissions. Shrude is listed in nine different biographical dictionaries, including Who’s Who in American Music and Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century. An all-around musiciancomposer, teacher, mentor, author and concert directorShrude is also an accomplished pianist. The concept of creativity is for her an inclusive one, but on this occasion she is once again being honored for her remarkable contribution to the musical literature of our time.

—Klaus G. Roy


Cleveland Arts Prize
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