Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider is one of 19 new members and four honorary members to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honour society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. The Academy’s 300 members are elected for life and pay no dues.

“This incredible news is a lot to absorb,” Schneider said in a statement. “I’d recorded my song cycle Winter Morning Walks in the beautiful concert hall of the Academy of Arts and Letters almost a decade ago. Upon touring the whole building, including the room of signed member photos going back to the beginning, I remember almost buckling facing the totality of all of those immensely creative individuals. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself being there among them.

“To be recognized in this way by the most esteemed and accomplished creators in our nation? It’s hugely inspiring,” she continued. “I will certainly do my best to contribute to the Academy’s ongoing mission to sustain the arts, especially in these times when our world needs it more than ever.”

Schneider’s latest double-album, 2020’s Data Lords, won two Grammy Awards, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was named record of the year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and won France’s prestigious Grand Prix de l’Académie du Jazz.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters will hold its annual ceremonial on May 24, 2023.