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Project Grants Awardees – The Second Round

July 2, 2014

Today is an exciting day for New Music USA; we are thrilled to award $311,000 to the 57 projects comprising our second round of project grants awardees.  Our organization and the 43 peer panelists who helped us make our awards are delighted to support an amazing group of projects. During the eight months since the grant program was launched in November 2013, it has provided more than $648,000 for a diverse range of projects involving new American music.

We received 1,174 project requests this round!  The total amount requested represented the need for more than 9.8 million dollars in support. Those numbers in relation to our current funding capacity are humbling, but also inspiring; these submissions only capture a glimpse of the overwhelming creativity resonating throughout the United States today.

The awarded projects are as eclectic as they are diverse – from multi-piece bagpipe commissions to afro-bop big band, to orchestral works, first recordings, and interactive works for dance. This group is provocative, fresh, and immensely talented. We wish we could support even more.

Because a large part of why we exist is to support new American music, we are delighted that over half of our awarded funds this round are for the creation and commission of new work around the United States. There are also many who will be using funds to travel, for dance, to create scores and parts, to pay artists and collaborators, and to bring preexisting pieces to life in new contexts throughout the world.

The world of our funded projects can be found on newmusicusa.org, where the funded project pages can be discovered, complete with artist profiles, work samples, project information, dates, and photos. Anyone exploring those pages can listen to, watch, and experience the diverse array of these awardees’ works.  Furthermore, creating a profile on our website allows individuals – you – to follow any of the awarded projects and choose to receive updates on that project by email. Creating a profile is the starting point for experiencing projects and discovering new artists. To find out how, read this. To experience a sampling of the music that is created by our awardees, hit “play” on one of the SoundCloud or YouTube playlists we’ve assembled of all of our awardees and their work samples.

Our approach to project grants continues to be driven by the conviction that artists should tell us what they need, instead of us telling them what we think they should want. It is driven by the conviction that artists should spend as much time as possible creating and easily sharing their art instead of writing grants, and that funding opportunities should be simple and free. So far, we hope that our streamlined, public platform helps artists across the country simply ask for crucial support while easily sharing their artistic ideas with a larger community. When we look at the sum of our awardees’ efforts, we’re proud of the results:

American Notes – a musical exploration

Orpheus commissions Anna Clyne and Timo Andres to compose new musical portraits exploring current American identity in a globalized world.

American Voices:  New Choral Works

Recording beautiful and unusual choral works from five of America’s most compelling, ground-breaking composers.

Andrew Norman: Play

Generation X Composer Andrew Norman’s inaugural orchestral CD released on BMOP/sound

Bach Unwound

Cellist Ashley Bathgate commissions large-scale work from Brooklyn’s Sleeping Giant composer collective, inspired by Bach’s Cello Suites.

Birmingham New Music Festival

Birmingham’s first new music festival, featuring a diverse mix of acoustic, electronic, improvisational, and interdisciplinary works.

Boston Counterpoint

Premiere of new works for ensemble and electronics of New York and German artists in a collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Boston.

Branches: So Percussion performances and residency at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

“NYC experimental powerhouse” So Percussion spends a year in residence at the Fisher Center for new music creation, education, & performance

Cinderella: A New Score for a Restored Silent Film

Musiqa and composer Karim Al-Zand partner with Houston Cinema Arts Society to present a new score to a restored 1922 silent film.

Commission: On the Mutability of Time

a new work for saxophonist Jeffery Kyle Hutchins w/piano

Court/Garden (CG)

A spectacle in three acts, “Court/Garden” is a new dance and live music performance by A CANARY TORSI to premiere at Danspace Project.

Crossing Boundaries: New Music for Dance in China

To present Joan La Barbara and Nai-Ni Chen’s working process to Chinese choreographers and musicians in Beijing and Guangdong.

David Ludwig Violin Concerto Consortium Commission

Five orchestras across the US will commission and present a concerto by David Ludwig, composed for violinist Bella Hristova.

Divertimento #4 for Piano Quartet

Divertimento #4 for Piano Quartet at the Rocky Mountain Power Labor Day Concert

Double Jeopardy (2013) for octet, commissioned by Ensemble Proton Bern

Mu-Xuan Lin’s Double Jeopardy for octet, commissioned by Ensemble Proton Bern (Switzerland), premiered and broadcast (SRF2) in Switzerland.

Edgefest 2014: BAS(S)ically Sound

An international festival; presenting new music, composed and improvised; concerts, master classes and free events in downtown Ann Arbor.

Emerging Composers Partnership 2014-15

A hands-on percussion laboratory for emerging composers

Europa: new piano work by Jonathan Howard Katz

Commission for new 20-minute solo piano work from composer extraordinaire, Jonathan Howard Katz

Ghosts of Crosstown

What if These Walls Could Sing?  Five Acclaimed Composers Tell the Powerful Stories of an Iconic American Building.

Helga and the Three Sailors

A new performance by choreographer Netta Yerushalmy in collaboration with composer Judith Berkson, set to premiere at Danspace Project, 2014.

Heritage/Evolution: PRISM Quartet with Ravi Coltrane and Chris Potter

The saxophone’s dual history in classical music and jazz inspires commissions that chart new musical territory.

 High Zero Festival 2014

“Some of the most intense new music being made anywhere” – The Wire Magazine, London

I will remember everything

A collaboration between Kitka and composer Eric Banks that gives voice to the long-censored love poems of “Russia’s Sappho”, Sophia Parnok.

Joe McCarthy’s Afro Bop Alliance Big Band presents the music of Roland Vaquez, Paquito D’ Rivera and Friends

Latin Grammy Award winning Afro Bop Alliance presents the music of Roland Vazquez and friends, featuring Paquito D’ Rivera

KcEMA Happy Hour

A new music Happy Hour, bringing together a diverse group of artists, entrepreneurs, and downtown office people.

Kepler Quartet’s CD3 | completing the 10-quartet Ben Johnston cycle

CD3 will be  an artistic and accurate historical documentation of American composer Ben Johnston’s ‘Just Tuned’ String Quartets Nos. 6, 7 & 8.

Kojo Roney residency at JACK

Nine-year old drummer Kojo Roney in residency at JACK — three concerts over three months with the city’s most accomplished improvisers.

L@TE: Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros performs at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, in collaboration with Thingamajigs Performance Group.

Look & Listen Festival Premieres Toy Piano Works by Jo Kondo and Phyllis Chen

Two World Premieres for Toy Piano


Two nights of new music by pre-college composers, mentored by established composers and selected from a global call for submissions.

Memory Rings

An evocative theater work exploring humanity’s relationship to ecology from the perspective of the world’s oldest living tree.

Middlemarch in Spring

Production of a new opera drawn from George Eliot’s novel

 Music in their Words

New chamber works incorporate the recorded voices of important 20th Century composers. Performances and history lessons for all.

New guitar concerto by Clarice Assad

Brazilian Guitar concerto by Assad will be an exciting addition to the guitar repertoire and an important premiere for the SF Conservatory.

New Music for Viola d’Amore

A new solo work for the baroque instrument viola d’amore written for Italian virtuoso Marco Fusi.

New work for electric guitar by Davide Ianni

A re-acquaintance with the iconic American instrument.


Stephen Petronio and experimental hiphop artist Michael Volpe will collaborate to create a kinetic new dance with an electronic score.

Perpetuum Mobile

New Thread Quartet is partnering with composer Ben Hjertmann to commission a new piece for saxophone quartet.

Predator Songstress: Dictator

“Predator Songstress: Dictator” will use live music, movement, animation, architecture and video to create portraits of 6 anti-heroines.

Reconstructed: The New Americana

Five new works for 8 women’s voices joining American tradition and contemporary perspective.

Riverside Whistles and Bells

An extended sonic event for live computer and electronics, 24 bell carillon, handbell choir and local ambience on the roof of RAM.

Roscoe Mitchell New Quintet – Vision Festival XX World Premiere

“What I do is study extremes.”
– Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe New Opera Workshop

Developing literature into new opera repertoire, a collaborative new opera workshop, performance and public discussion

Schuller to Schnyder: A Third Stream Exploration

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: A 10-Year Anniversary of a Jazz and Classical Marriage


A new evening-length performance work for toy pianist Phyllis Chen blending music, film, dance and puppetry

Table of Silence Project 9/11: Musician Fees

The Table of Silence Project 9/11 is a free, multicultural dance for peace realized through the passionate commitment of 170 artists.

Ten Thousand Birds

Alarm Will Sound inaugurates St. Louis’s Public Media Commons with John Luther Adams’ Ten Thousand Birds

The Acoustic Bicycle Tour (West Coast)

A 5-week, 1800 mile performance journey traveling solely by bicycle, presenting solo concerts and playing with ensembles of local musicians.

The Gaita and Orchestra Commissioning Project

The GAITA (Galician Bagpipe) doesn’t have YET a broad repertory for Gaita and Orchestra. My challenge: new commissions to make history.

The Poe Project: Embedded and Buried Alive

What might Edgar Allan Poe write if he were alive today? Four inspired writers have answered with two chilling works for the opera stage.


THE POTATO KING OF BLOCK 72 is an opera loosely based on the  true story of George Shima, the first Japanese-American millionaire.

The Space Between Us, for 8 strings, and robotic percussion instruments

8 string players surround the audience, robotic percussion hanging from the ceiling, controlled by a percussion soloist with a 3D sensor.

The Sweetest Song: Traditional Song Genres and Their Performance in Brooklyn

Connecting over 100 Brooklyn traditional singers with their music contemporaries in a series of concerts and workshops reaching 2,000 people

The War Project

Propaganda | Protest | Prayer

Turbine (working title)

The Fairmount Water Works is celebrating its 200th anniversary with Leah Stein Dance Co and Mendelssohn Club Chorus.

Unforgettable: A disc of the music of George Tsontakis

Three bold, gripping, new concertos by George Tsontakis on a single disc, performed by the Albany Symphony and David Alan Miller.

Voices from the Dust Bowl

A multimedia exploration of the daily lives of migrant farm workers of central California in 1940-1941

Workers Of The World

A chamber concerto for piano, entitled “Workers Of The World”, based on working songs from around the world.