April 10, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Lewis Spratlan, Peter R. Pouncey Professor of Music at Amherst College, has received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in music for his composition, Life is a Dream, Opera in Three Acts: Act Two, Concert Version, which received its world premiere at Amherst in January.

The New Haven Opera Theater commissioned Spratlan to compose an opera in 1975. He did so in 1978, with James Maraniss, a professor of Spanish at Amherst, writing the libretto. The opera was never performed because the company failed.

More than 20 years later, in January of this year, opera-lovers finally heard a concert version of the second act of Life Is a Dream, Spratlan’s adaptation of Spanish playwright Calderon de la Barca’s 1636 masterpiece, La vida es sueño.

Spratlan has taught at Amherst College since 1970, when he founded and conducted the Amherst-Mount Holyoke Orchestra. He was educated at Yale University and the Yale School of Music. His compositions have won numerous awards and prizes. His recordings include Two Pieces for Orchestra, available on Opus One Records, and Night Music on Gasparo.