During the past 2013-2014 Season, Orpheus launched a new, two-year commissioning initiative titled American Notes that engaged three composers with diverse musical styles and backgrounds to create new works. With the support of generous funders – including New Music USA – Orpheus was able to engage gifted composers Anna Clyne, Timo Andres, and Fazil Say. The project’s culmination will now take place in the 2014-2015 Season with world premieres at Carnegie Hall and on national tours, accompanied by educational activities offering access into the creative process. In all, close to 10,000 audience members and 2,500 students will be engaged with Orpheus and live, new American music.
American Notes began with the complex question of what defines American identity today – the characteristics, experiences, communities, and relationships. Each composer has developed a musical exploration of this question, contributing to the ongoing global conversation of national identity. This proposal requests support towards Orpheus’ collaborations with Ms. Clyne and Mr. Andres, as Mr. Say, a Turkish composer, is not eligible for New Music USA funding.
Orpheus is proud to present these new works as part of its subscription series programming, performed alongside other well-known and rarely-heard works from the orchestral canon. In this way, audiences who might not otherwise choose a new music performance will also be engaged, and connections within the broader context of orchestral music can be highlighted. Ms. Clyne’s new work, Rest These Hands, will be shared with audiences in California and New York through four performances in 2014: San Luis Obispo, CA on November 1st, Stanford University, CA on November 2nd, Purchase College, NY on November 30th, and in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on December 6th. In 2015, Mr. Andres’ new work will be performed at Lafayette College, PA on February 6th and at Carnegie Hall on February 7th. In addition, Orpheus will include Mr. Andres’ piece for its Budapest Festival debut in Hungary on April 24, 2015, broadening the work’s reach.
In conjuction with performances, American Notes will be integrated into Orpheus’ two award-winning education programs. Through Access Orpheus, over 2,000 New York City public school students, the majority from Title 1 schools, uncover the full compositional process from creation to rehearsal to performance. Students will have the opportunity to discuss the composition with Orpheus Artistic Directors through in-class visits, witness the refinement and meet the composers at working rehearsals, and experience the final performance through free tickets to the Carnegie Hall premieres.
With Orpheus Institute, music and leadership students from Stanford University, Lafayette College, and SUNY-Purchase will engage in in-depth discussions and coaching sessions with Orpheus musicians, prior to the performances. When possible, the composers will share their own experiences of creating music within the democratic, conductorless Orpheus system. During the Europe Tour, students from the acclaimed Franz Liszt Academy will also participate in an Orpheus Institute session prior to the orchestra’s Budapest Festival debut.
With these seven performance and activities, Orpheus aims to broaden the reach of American Notes, sharing new American music and the democratic Orpheus process to communities in America and abroad.