George Tsontakis has been the recipient of the two richest prizes awarded in all of classical music; the international Grawemeyer Award, in 2005, for his Second Violin Concerto and the 2007 Ives Living, awarded every three years by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He studied with Roger Sessions at Juilliard and in Rome, with Franco Donatoni. Born in Astoria, NY into a strongly Cretan heritage, he has, in recent years, become an important figure in the music of Greece and his music is increasingly performed abroad, with dozens of performances in Europe every season. Most of his music, including eleven major orchestral works and four concertos have been recorded by Hyperion and Koch, leading to two Grammy Nominations for Best Classical Composition, in 2009 and 1999. He is Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at the Bard Conservatory and Composer-in-Residence with the Aspen Music Festival for decades, where he was founding director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, from 1991-99. He served for three years as Composer-in-Residence with the Oxford (England) Philomusica and is continuing a six-year Music Alive residency with the Albany Symphony and was the featured Composer-In-Residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 2008-09 season. He lives in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, in Shokan.