Director/ComposerGeorge 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, from the American Academy. He studied with Roger Sessions at Juilliard and in Rome, with Franco Donatoni. Born in Astoria, NY into Cretan heritage, he has 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 has been recorded by Hyperion and Koch, leading to two Grammy Nominations for Best Classical Composition. He is Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at the Bard Conservatory and the Aspen Music Festival, where he was founding director of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, from 1991-99. He served 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 last season. He lives in New York's Catskill Mountains.