Six commissions from New Music USA

New Music USA has commissioned six new works through its Amplifying Voices programme.

The programme’s goal is equitable representation of composers in classical music. A recent report from the Institute for Composer Diversity found that 94% of music programmed for 2019-20 was written by white composers.

The six composers are: Valerie Coleman, Shelley Washington, Tania León, Juan Pablo Contreras, Brian Raphael Nabors and Tyshawn Sorey. They will each write new works to be premiered in the 2021-22 season.

In addition to the commission fee and premiere, each piece will be performed at least three more times by a group of 24 orchestras. Participating ensembles include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Commented Valerie Coleman: “At a time when bold solidarity is needed to address both the struggle within the pandemics of now, Amplified Voices is an affirmation that Black Lives do indeed matter and should be represented within this sacred field.

“The composers selected for this powerful initiative are leaders who have dedicated themselves to not only their craft, but advocate for others for the future of music’s sake. I am humbled and proud to be selected by New Music USA to be among them.”

Added New Music USA president and CEO Vanessa Reed: “We created Amplifying Voices at the end of last year to support the programming of composers and repertoire that could and should be more regularly enhancing our experience of orchestral music…I can’t wait to hear their new pieces that result from these collaborations as we strive towards an open and equitable future for classical music.”