League And ACO Announce Three New Women Composers Commissions
Composers Courtney Bryan, Cindy Cox, and Fang Man will each receive orchestral commissions of $15,000 as part of the 2018 Women Composers Readings and Commissions program, an initiative of the League of American Orchestras, in partnership with American Composers Orchestra (ACO) and supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
Courtney Bryan's work will be premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Carlos Miguel Prieto in the 2019-20 season. Cindy Cox's work will be premiered by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in May 2020 and Fang Man's work by the San Francisco Symphony (performance details for both to be announced). The Women Composers program has been renewed for 2019, with three additional composers to be awarded commissions next year. Additionally, many of the current and previous commission recipients will meet during the League's National Conference in Nashville, June 3-6, 2019.
"Over the past five years, our Women Composers program has significantly expanded the repertoire, resulting in important new works by women being performed by orchestras across the country", said Jesse Rosen, the League's President and CEO. "We are grateful for the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation's visionary thinking and years of support."
ACO President Ed Yim added, "This program continues to support and spotlight the work of women composers, and ACO is proud to partner with the League, the Toulmin Foundation and three fantastic partner orchestras who are equally committed to representing women of today in their programming."
The Women Composers Readings and Commissions program is embedded in EarShot, an initiative of American Composers Orchestra in collaboration with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. EarShot is the nation's first ongoing program for identifying and promoting the most promising orchestral composers on the national stage. ACO's artistic and administrative staff collaborates with participating orchestras, assisting with planning, program design, and execution. EarShot residencies include mentorship from the most accomplished orchestral composers in the country, orchestra readings, and musician and conductor feedback sessions. The program is customized to each host orchestra's aesthetic, demographic, community, and educational interests.
2018-19 EarShot residencies include Grand Rapids Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, and American Composers Orchestra's Underwood New Music Readings.
2017-18 Earshot readings took place with American Composers Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony. All women who participated in past EarShot readings were considered for the commissions. Since its inception in 2014, the Women Composers Readings and Commissions program has shown impressive results: thirty-four women composers benefitted from career development via the EarShot Readings and thirteen composers have now received commissions, with five (premieres by Julia Adolphe, Melody Eötvös, Chen-Hui Jen, Andreia Pinto Correia, and Andrea Reinkemeyer) completed.
2014 commission recipient Julia Adolphe's Unearth, Release (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra) received its New York premiere November 17-19, 2016 by the New York Philharmonic, conductor Jaap van Zweden, and Prinicipal Viola Cynthia Phelps as soloist. Melody Eötvös's Red Dirt | Silver Rain was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2015 by American Composers Orchestra as part of the orchestra's SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a festival devoted to new music written in the 21st century by composers age 40 and under.
The recipients of the 2015 Women Composers Readings and Commissions were composers Andreia Pinto Correia and Xi Wang. Andreia Pinto Correia's Ciprés was premiered on April 6 and 7, 2018 by the Columbus Symphony. Xi Wang is working on a piece for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra to be premiered in a future season.
2016 program recipients were Chen-Hui Jen, whose work in eternal dusk was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra on January 27, 2018, as well as Wang Jie and Hannah Lash (premieres to be announced).
2017 commission recipients were Andrea Reinkemeyer, whose Water Sings Fire was premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Carlos Miguel Prieto on January 10, 11, and 12, 2019; Stacy Garrop, whose work will be premiered by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (details to be announced); and Robin Holcomb, whose work (title to be announced) will be premiered by the Portland Sym phony Orchestra (Maine) and music director Eckart Preu on January 19 and 21, 2020.