New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices Announces First of Nine New Co-Commissioned Works Premiering Spring/Summer 2022

Opera song

New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program, which encourages collaboration for racial and gender equity in new orchestral music, has announced the first of nine new works co-commissioned by women and BIPOC composers who will be performed by more than thirty orchestras across the United States. The orchestras will present the works over three years, from 2022 to 2025.

The premiere of premieres kicks off with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Akiko Fujimoto, performing the inaugural concert featuring the co-commissioned work of Tania León, “Pasajes” (“Passages”) in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 9-10.

Play by Juan Pablo Contreras”MeChicanowill have its premiere by the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Musical director Donato Cabrera will conduct the work.

Performance date: May 7, 2022

The Aspen Music Festival and School will premiere Shelley Washington’s new work, “Both.“Ludovic Morlot will be on the podium.

Performance date: July 10, 2022

Tyshawn Sorey’s Saxophone Concerto for Timothy McAllister will be premiered by the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland. Elena Schwarz directs.

Performance date: August 20, 2022

The full list of participating orchestras is as follows:

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: Tania León, with co-curators of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival: Tyshawn Sorey, with other co-curators to join

Berkeley Symphony: Brian Raphael Nabors, with co-curators Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, ROCO and Seattle Symphony

Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Jessie Montgomery (Sorel Fellow) with co-curators from the Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony and Seattle Symphony

Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra: Juan Pablo Contreras, with co-curators California Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Tucson Symphony and Richmond Symphony

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Shelley Washington, with co-curators Aspen Music Festival and School, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony

Oregon Symphony: Vijay Iyer, with co-curators Boise Philharmonic, Fresno Philharmonic, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic and London Philharmonic

The Philadelphia Orchestra: Valerie Coleman, with co-curators of the New World Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony Orchestra

YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles): Nina Shekhar (Sorel Fellow), with other co-curators to join

In a press release, Vanessa Reed, President and CEO of New Music USA, said, “The orchestras participating in Amplifying Voices program new music from some of the most talented composers in the United States while recognizing that our musical canon will only evolve if these songs are played more than once. I’m so glad this program is giving more audiences across the country the chance to experience the power of these composers’ work as we all strive towards a more open and equitable future for classical music.