Composer Paul Moravec

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Neither the music, nor the inspiration is typical. New York composer Paul Moravec drew on William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” for his piece Tempest Fantasy. One critic described the piece as “openly and ebulliently attractive, flowing with an effortless lyric pulse.” The top accolade, given to Moravec was the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for music.

There’s more to the story, Moravec also knows the dark side of tempests. Years back he was hospitalized and given electroshock treatment for clinical depression. He often speaks to people about that time, using his own story to show that recovery from mental illness is possible. We talk with him about his life, his classical music, and using the great English playwright as inspiration.


Paul Moravec, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his contemporary classical piece, “Tempest Fantasy”;Terry Teachout, music critic for Commentary, a monthly opinion magazine.