George Tsontakis is a composer from upstate New York.  He was awarded the Grawemeyer in 2005 for his second violin concerto, and in December 2006 named the fourth recipient of the Charles Ives Living by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  In 1995, he received the American Academy of Arts and Letters lifetime achievement award, its highest honor for music composition.

George Tsontakis was in Louisville for the premiere of Impetuous, composed for the Louisville Orchestra and commissioned by Nana Lampton. He stopped by Classical 90.5 to talk with Daniel Gilliam about working with an orchestra on a new piece, teaching and masterclasses, and the importance of commissioning new music.

Music heard in this feature: Violin Concerto No. 2: Just go & Clair de Lune: Jeux (Steven Copes, violin; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Douglas Boyd)