Distinguished Professor of Composition
USC Thornton School of Music
The music of Morten J. Lauridsen occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the 21st century. His virtuosity is evident in his long, distinguished career and the ubiquity of his beloved compositions, echoing his status as one of the Thornton School’s most admired figures for more than four decades. The luminous, spiritual beauty of Professor Lauridsen’s choral works grants them a special significance within our nation’s artistic heritage—a reputation reflected in his numerous accolades, including the prestigious National Medal of Arts.
Professor Lauridsen’s eight vocal cycles, art songs, instrumental works, and sacred Latin motets are regularly performed in concert by celebrated artists and ensembles worldwide. His works are featured on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received GRAMMY nominations. His most remarkable pieces—such as Lux Aeterna and O Magnum Mysterium—will be embraced for centuries, and are the best-selling choral compositions distributed by the venerable Theodore Presser Company, the oldest continuing music publisher in the United States since its formation in 1783.
Professor Lauridsen has earned considerable recognition from the artistic community for his lasting achievements, receiving a Life in Music Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, as well as the designation of American Choral Master from the National Endowment of the Arts. At USC, he demonstrates a profound commitment to enhancing musical education, having served as chair of the Thornton School’s composition program and founding its program in film scoring.
For his accomplishments as a world-renowned composer, encompassing deeply moving masterpieces that have become touchstones of the choral arts, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Morten J. Lauridsen with the USC Associates Award for Artistic Expression.