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Grammy Nominations for String Faculty and Alumni

Gregg August and his album cover

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards continue to distinguish NYU Steinhardt as one of the premier music institutions in the world as NYU Steinhardt String Studies faculty and alumni received 2020 Grammy nominations.

Spanning genres such as classical, avant-garde, jazz, and Latin jazz, bass faculty member Gregg August received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for his album Dialogues on Race (Iacuessa Records, August’s own record label). While this is his first solo nomination, August has previously won 5 Grammy awards as a member of Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. Dialogues on Race is a result of a commission from the Jazz Gallery and Jerome Foundation, composed for an extended suite of a 12-piece large jazz ensemble, 3 vocalists, strings, and narrator. It utilizes poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Marilyn Nelson, and others to create a musical conversation that is intended to help bring awareness and foster understanding on the issue of race in America.

Having previously recorded 16 violin concertos and earned 9 nominations, as well as 3 Norwegian Grammys, violinist Peter Herresthal is the featured soloist on Saariaho: Graal Théâtre; Circle Map; Neiges; Vers Toi Qui Es Si Loin (conducted by Clément Mao-Takacs and produced by Hans Kipfer). The album is nominated for Best Classical Compendium. Over the last 3 years, Herresthal has been touring Europe and the United States with Kaija Saariaho’s aria “Vers toi es si loin,” written for him, and more than 15 performances of Saariaho’s violin concerto “Graal Theatre,” most recently recording the work for BIS and a BBC television production.

String Studies alum Kristine Kruta is featured as the solo cellist on the original Broadway cast recording of Jagged Little Pill, which received a nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. Recently off tour as the principal cellist for the Eagles, Kruta is dedicated to multi-disciplinary works as she produces, orchestrates, and performs with artists around the world.

These nominees emphasize the global multidisciplinary mission of NYU Steinhardt, whose faculty and alumni continue to make their mark in the evolving music industry with outstanding performances each year.