New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices Announces Addition of Two Composers to Co-Commission List

New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program has announced the addition of two composers to its existing roster of nine working on high profile co-commissions. The newly selected composers are Katherine Balch and Clarice Assad.

Katherine Balch will compose a work co-commissioned by principal orchestras, the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, while Clarice Assad’s composition will be premiered by principal curator, The Saint Paul Orchestra, with further premieres by the American Composers Orchestra based in New York. , the Chicago Sinfonietta and the ROCO of Houston.

Balch is a 2020-21 Prix de Rome recipient and has had works presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, IRCAM ManiFeste and Tanglewood. His compositions explore found sounds, play, intimate spaces and natural processes.

Assad is a Brazilian American and Grammy-nominated composer with a significant presence in many musical genres, from classical to pop and jazz, and as a pianist, singer and educator. Musically, it is known for its evocative colors, rich textures and diverse stylistic range.

“At New Music USA, we believe that programming more pieces by living composers from a multitude of backgrounds will transform orchestral music for current and future generations,” said the President and CEO of the organization, Vanessa Reed, in a press release. “It’s encouraging to see the rate at which orchestras are expanding their repertoire. To maintain this momentum, long-term commitments and collaborations are essential. That’s why we are honored to receive new and ongoing funding through which we build on the work facilitated by our founding partners in 2020 to create lasting change for composers, orchestras and their audiences.

The two will join composers Valerie Coleman, Juan Pablo Contreras, Vijay Iyer, Tania León, Jessie Montgomery, Brian Raphael Nabors, Nina Shekhar, Tyshawn Sorey and Shelley Washington.

Amplifying Voices continues New Music USA’s work to create racial and gender equity in the music industry. The long-term program increases support and promotion for historically marginalized composers. It creates space for their artistic planning in large orchestras to transform the classical canon for future generations. The program also asks orchestras to commit to sharing the existing repertoire of BIPOC and female composers.

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