Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Awarded National Endowment For The Arts Grant

In December, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced that The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is one of 895 nonprofit organizations to receive an Art Works grant. The $50,000 grant supports the 2013-2014 Composer of the Year residency program.

This year, the Composer of the Year program features the works of Pittsburgh composers David Stock, Leonardo Balada, Nancy Galbraith, Patrick Burke, Bomi Jang, Mathew Rosenblum, Reza Vali and Amy Williams, and includes three world premieres and four commissions. The Year of Pittsburgh Composers kicked off with a world premier of Stock's Sixth Symphony during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics opening weekend on Oct. 4-6. The U.S. premiere of Balada's "Symphony of Sorrows" followed in November. The season continues with a collaborative piece by Burke, Jang, Rosenblum, Vali and Williams (The Elements) in February 2014 and the Pittsburgh Symphony premiere of Galbraith's Euphonic Blues in March 2014. The annual Reading Session hosted by the Pittsburgh Symphony and conducted by Leonard Slatkin, which invites scores from music schools throughout the State of Pennsylvania, is also included in the program. This grant will also help the Pittsburgh Symphony begin a legacy program within Composer of the Year initiative, allowing the orchestra to commission a former composer in the program. This year's returning composers are Richard Danielpour (Jan. 17-19, 2014) and Christopher Rouse (April 4-6, 2014).

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States," said Shigekawa. "Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts."

"This grant recognizes the innovative ways that orchestras like the Pittsburgh Symphony make music and performing arts more accessible to their communities," said Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck. "We are particularly proud of our Composer of the Year program, and this year is a special one that celebrates the wealth of musical talent found here in Pittsburgh."

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $ 23.4 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

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