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When honoring him with its Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters noted that "A rare economy of means and a strain of religious mysticism distinguish the music of James Primosch... through articulate, transparent textures, he creates a wide range of musical emotion." A student of George Crumb and Mario Davidovsky, Primosch has had works performed by such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Collage, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Twenty-First Century Consort. Dawn Upshaw included a song by Primosch in her Carnegie Hall recital debut. Commissioned works by Primosch have been premiered by the Chicago Symphony, Speculum Musicae, Folger Consort, and pianist Lambert Orkis. He is currently at work on a commission for the Albany Symphony.