Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Nancy Webber

Last modified: Monday, September 24, 2007

Composer W. Claude Baker to present Sonneborn Award lecture

September 24, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—W. Claude Baker Jr., Chancellor's Professor of Music Composition at Indiana University, will deliver the Sonneborn Award Lecture,"The Composer as Resident: The Role of the Composer in the Community," Thursday (Sept. 27), at 4 p.m. in Auer Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Named for the late Tracy M. Sonneborn, an IU biologist who distinguished himself in both teaching and research, the Sonneborn award was established in 1985 by the Dean of the Faculties office. It is given to honor an IU professor who has achieved distinction as a teacher and as a scholar or artist.

Baker's lecture will address recent discussions on "the decline of professional performing arts organizations in America and about the defection of audiences from the concert halls."

"Much, too, has been said about the need to enlighten our young people -- our future concert audiences -- as to the importance of the arts and creative endeavors in their personal development," he said. "I will demonstrate how the composers at IU, both faculty and students, are attempting to address these concerns in a positive and tangible fashion."

Baker, as an artist, is known for musical compositions rich in imagination, sensitivity and originality. As a teacher, his students consider him to be someone who inspires them and cares for the development of their personal and professional growth. According to Gwyn Richards, dean of the IU Jacobs School of Music, students "cherish the way in which he molds them individually into artists with compelling statements to make musically."

Baker has accepted numerous awards and prizes -- such as the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award twice, an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the George Eastman Prize, and the Eastman-Leonard Prize -- as well as many commissions. He also has participated in performances throughout the world and has produced numerous publications and recordings during his professional career.

Tracy M. Sonneborn

Tracy Sonneborn came to Indiana University in 1939 and became internationally-known for his biological studies specializing in genetics, as one of three leading geneticists in the country. Sonneborn was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and was one of the first three Indiana University faculty members to be granted the title Distinguished Professor.

Learn more about Baker at For more information about the lecture, contact Cyndi Connelley-Eskine, Office of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculties, at or call 812-855-9973.