Herschel Garfein, adjunct instructor of music composition in Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, is the winner of a Grammy Award for his new American opera, ‘Elmer Gantry.’ Lyric and book writer Garfein and composer Robert Aldridge shared the award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The Naxos recording also won Best Engineered Classical Recording. Garfein accepted his award on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
“It’s tremendously gratifying for ‘Elmer Gantry’ to have won two Grammy awards this year,” said Garfein. “It’s a true “indie” opera. My collaborator Bob Aldridge and I struggled for 17 years to get this opera produced, with no money, no commission and no fancy opera companies supporting us. The recording represents an enormous joint effort on the part of a great regional opera company Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, a first-rate regional American orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, an incredible cast of young American singers, and an independent, cutting-edge record label, Naxos. I hope that it is a sign of things to come in the opera world.”