Robert Livingston Aldridge of Montclair State University's Music Department has been awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, the first MSU educator to be so honored.
Aldridge, a Montclair resident, received the $36,000 Music Composition fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
"This is a prestigious award and I'm honored I was selected to receive it," said Aldridge, one of 184 grant winners selected from more than 2,800 applicants.
The award will allow Aldridge, an assistant professor at MSU and Coordinator of the Composition and Theory Program, to finish composing his opera, "Elmer Gantry," which he has been working on for 10 years. The opera is based on the Sinclair Lewis novel about a corrupt preacher and will be given its full stage world premiere by Tulsa Opera in 2003.
The Guggenheim Foundation provides fellowships for advanced professionals in natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and creative arts to assist research and artistic creation. Applicants for the Guggenheim fellowships are matched against others working in their own field and then against all others in the competition in a rigorous selection process.
"I can attest to the prestige that the Guggenheim Award bestows on Bob Aldridge, reflecting the high regard that the music community holds him and his music," said Ting Ho, acting chair of Music at MSU. "This is an international-level award. Bob's Guggenheim will further demonstrate to the music community the quality and stature of our award-winning music composition faculty."