The New Yorker‘s classical music critic Alex Ross has been named a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, otherwise known as the genius grant.
The Observer‘s Doree Shafrir profiled Mr. Ross in 2007, describing his book, The Rest Is Noise, as follows :
The culmination of 10 years’ worth of work, Noise is a rereading of the conventional wisdom about 20th-century classical music: that avant-garde, atonal music was the important music of the century and that in some ways all modern classical music is derived from it. This argument is near-heretical for many scholars of classical music, but what Mr. Ross is really asking for is a complete reorientation of how classical music is appreciated: as part of culture as a whole, not a hermetically sealed world unto itself.
The MacArthur Foundation cited Mr. Ross for "offering both highly specialized and casual readers new ways of thinking about the music of the past and its place in our future."
The fiction writer Chimamanda Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun, was also named a fellow.