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The League of American Orchestras Announces New Initiative to Support Early-Career Women Composers

The League of American Orchestras Announces New Initiative to Support Early-Career Women Composers

The League of American Orchestras has announced a new initiative to increase opportunities for early-career women composers through a series of orchestral readings and commissions, made possible by the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Program for Commissioning Women in the Performing Arts.

The readings will be administered by American Composers Orchestra on behalf of EarShot, the National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network, and take place with Berkeley Symphony Orchestra in California (February 2-3 and May 4-5, 2014); Detroit Symphony Orchestra (March 9-10, 2014); New York Philharmonic (June 3-4); and American Composers Orchestra in New York (June 6-8, 2014). During the readings composers are mentored by established composers and participate in career development workshops. Two of the participating composers will be selected to receive orchestral commissions of $15,000 each, with premiere details to be announced at a future date.

Jesse Rosen, League President and CEO, said: "This new effort complements our prior work in support of women conductors, which has included professional-development grants and career-development seminars. Bringing new artistic voices to the fore is a key mission for the League, and this program offers the rare opportunity for composers to have their works read and to receive a commission-two essential, but hard to come by, opportunities for professional growth."

Michael Geller, president of American Composers Orchestra and spokesperson for EarShot, said: "The partnership with the League of American Orchestras and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation will allow us to strengthen our commitment to discovering important new compositional voices in orchestral music by creating increased opportunity for women composers through new music readings, professional development, and commissions."

EarShot, a nationwide network of new music readings and composer-development programs, is the nation's first ongoing, systematic program for identifying emerging orchestral composers. EarShot provides professional-level working experience with orchestras from every region of the country and increases awareness of the participating emerging composers and access to their music throughout the industry. The program is administered by American Composers Orchestra with partner organizations the American Composers Forum, League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA.

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America's orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community orchestras, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org to learn more.

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