Awardee Shawn Jaeger is Princeton Arts Fellow 2016-18

Composer Shawn Jaeger, filmmaker Afia Serena Nathaniel, and writer Rebekah Rutkoff have been named Princeton University Arts Fellows for 2016-18 and will begin two years of teaching and community collaboration in September.

The Princeton Arts Fellows program provides support for early-career artists who have demonstrated both extraordinary promise and a record of achievement in their fields with the opportunity to further their work while teaching within a liberal arts context.

photo by Lucy Dhegrae
photo by Lucy Dhegrae

Funded in part by the Mellon Foundation, Fellows are selected for atwo-year residency to teach one course each semester or, in lieu of a course, to undertake an artistic assignment that deeply engages undergraduate students, such as directing a play, conducting a music ensemble, or choreographing a dance piece. Fellows are expected to be active members of the University’s intellectual and artistic community while in residence; in return, they are provided the resources and spaces necessary to their work.

Jaeger, Nathaniel, and Rutkoff were selected from a large, diverse, and multi-talented pool of over 700 applicants from dance, music, creative writing, theater and the visual arts. “The applicant pool was large, competitive, and enormously impressive across all fields, disciplines, and media,” said Stacy Wolf, Acting Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts and Director of Fellowships. “The selection committee was amazed and inspired by the work of these artists, as well as by their ideas of ways to engage with Princeton’s arts community.”

Shawn Jaeger is a composer based in New York City. Described as “introspective, mournful […] evocative” by The New York Times, Jaeger’s music often draws inspiration from Appalachian folksong and hymnody. His works have been performed by Dawn Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, violinist Alexi Kenney, and Contemporaneous, at venues including Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Morgan Library, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. He has received commissions from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, the American Composers Forum/Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund), Roulette/Jerome Foundation, and the BMI Foundation/Concert Artists Guild (Carlos Surinach Commission).

His honors include the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, Northwestern University’s M. William Karlins and William T. Faricy Awards, the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and two BMI Student Composer Awards.

Jaeger holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan. He has taught composition at Tufts University and the Bard College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division.

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