A year has passed since Greenville native Caroline Shaw became the youngest composer to win the Pulitzer Prize. The acclaim is probably still pretty weird for her; before she took home those top honors for the spell-binding Partita
, few even knew Shaw was a composer and not a mere instrumentalist. As orchestras across the country clamor to play her music, Shaw is still navigating the life of a freelance vocalist and violinist, a doctoral student at Princeton and a newly in-demand composer. Still, she's made time for a visit to her home state to provide what she does best: quirky improvisations and folk-inflected compositions.
Her appearance at the Cat's Cradle Back Room launches an intimate new series in the space, curated by UNC-Chapel Hill violin professor Jennifer Curtis. Shaw will take the stage with looping vocals and violin—reminiscent of Julia Holter or Andrew Bird—as well as the shimmering string quartet "By and By," in which she sings new settings of old bluegrass and gospel tunes. Local musicians fill out the program with a mix of chamber music by Curtis and Kodály, lullabies, ballads and more improv. The informality is ideal for Shaw's music, Pulitzer or no.