For fourteen years the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA have joined in partnership through the Music Alive Program to support unique and meaningful composer residencies in the concert halls and communities of orchestras throughout the country. With the generous ongoing support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the ASCAP Foundation, and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, this residency program has evolved into an entirely unique and groundbreaking multi-year collaboration between orchestras and composers.
Historically, the goals of this program have been to help orchestras increase new music opportunities for audiences, artists, and administrators; to identify model practices for sustained partnerships between artists and communities; to help orchestras fully and comprehensively achieve their missions; and to enrich orchestral repertoire with fresh and inventive music of our time. These goals remain steadfast, but the means by which they are achieved for this year’s awardees are newly focused on two inalienable principles: Depth and Innovation.
In a society that is increasingly shaped by new methods of connecting, sharing, and creating, we asked our pool of Music Alive applicants to think critically about deep and innovative ways of introducing a composer and his or her work into their communities through a highly integrated and highly creative residency that will take place over the course of the next three years. Of that pool, we chose five fascinating proposals with some of the most talented and creatively thinking orchestras and composers the United States has to offer.
The program will award approximately $900,000 over the next three years as the orchestras develop their residencies to ensure that these deep and innovative approaches – through education, outreach, media, workshops, alternative venues, interdisciplinary concert productions, cultural integration, commissions, and all other creative ideas they implement – are not only highly successful models for the field, but will provide new music opportunities for artists and audiences for years to come.
Get to know our awardees below, and stay tuned to learn more about each of these unique collaborations:
The Albany Symphony will team up with Sleeping Giant, a composer collective of six composers (Timothy Andres, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Ted Hearne, Robert Honstein, and Andrew Norman). The joint energy of these six young composers and the opportunity to deploy them in all of the Albany Symphony’s activities, particularly education and community engagement, will strengthen the Albany Symphony’s core mission of celebrating and nurturing the music of living American composers. Sleeping Giant’s commitment to sharing ideas, developing pieces together, even rewriting and reworking each others’ ideas, will help the Albany Symphony develop fascinating, integrated projects with new media, formats and audiences. A deep, ongoing collaboration with six gifted young composers will help the Albany Symphony develop fresh new approaches to what they do.
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, the nation’s first merged ballet-opera-symphony orchestra, will partner with composer Stella Sung on an innovative residency that will begin in the summer of 2013 and unfold over the course of the next three seasons. It will feature signature events integrating the three art forms, improve artistic quality, advance stature of art forms, and provide a national model of arts integration. Dr. Sung will create new pieces, including a one-act opera, a chamber work for dance, and music for educational performances. In addition, the work for dance offers a new opportunity for enhancement of ballet performances. Dr. Sung will also become part of an educational program reaching over 50,000 students annually and will create works that integrate dance, vocal, and instrumental music. This uniquely long-term partnership offers a new and exciting way to advance these goals.
In addition to an orchestral commission for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to perform at their home at Orchestra Hall, DSO’s collaboration with Gabriela Lena Frank will bring her work to their partner venues in six suburban communities, using specially tailored music to create community engagement outside of the concert hall. DSO musicians “opt in” for neighborhood work a full year in advance, and the number of musicians who perform at each venue varies. With this flexibility, Ms. Frank will have options to compose works in different genres and for varying combinations of musicians in a smaller setting. Her residency will also incorporate DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles students, adding a composing element to their award-winning education programs.
Pacific Symphony’s residency with Narong Prangcharoen will provide innovative audience engagement, transform Pacific Symphony’s community programs, and help reach culturally diverse communities in Orange County. Through a commissioned work that will be incorporated into multi-media imagery, audience members will be able to actively observe the composer’s creation process. The composer will also be completely immersed into Pacific Symphony’s community Youth Ensemble program like never before. He will serve as creative mentor and be asked to compose new and adapt existing works that directly fit the abilities and talents of the student musicians. In addition, Pacific Symphony will utilize the composer’s Thai background and connections to Southern California’s large Thai communities to help cast a wider net and reach more diverse communities.
Seattle Symphony Orchestra will form a multi-year partnership with boundary-transcending composer Trimpin, whose surprising artworks invite interactivity through sound, shape and kinesthetics. The residency will include the creation of a sound sculpture for Benaroya Hall and the commission of a new work written for the Seattle Symphony and his newly created sound sculpture. Trimpin’s composition and invention activities will engage performers, students and audiences of all ages through workshops, concerts, online events and co-created community collaborations.