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symphony SPRING 2020 n $6.95



Music in the Time of Coronavirus How orchestras are coping with a global pandemic

Summer Music Festivals

Women Composers and the 19th Amendment

Eco-conscious Orchestras

Your Legacy Matters Share the magic of orchestras with future generations

Planned Giving enables individuals like you, who care deeply about the League of American Orchestras’ mission of advancing the orchestral experience for all, to support the League’s work beyond your lifetime. To learn more about the League’s planned giving opportunities, please visit americanorchestras.org/donate/plannedgiving.

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2 Prelude by Robert Sandla


4 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events 10 Critical Questions League President and CEO Jesse Rosen and Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, discuss how non-profits and their boards are adapting to evolving expectations about transparency, ethics, and community engagement.



Music in the Time of a Pandemic In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and shut-down that evolve daily, orchestras and musicians are keeping the music going by embracing a new digital normal. by Jeremy Reynolds



Up Close, Far Away For a brief period in March, orchestras live-streamed concerts to empty auditoriums. A report on the experience by Clive Paget

New Sounds for Summer Summer music festivals explore new music. by Steven Brown


Summer Festivals 2020 A classical guide to what’s on this summer.


Re: “Unheard Voices” Cover Story


Eco-Friendly Orchestras The environment and sustainability practices are growing concerns for orchestras. by Brian Wise 61 Advertiser Index 62 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund 64 Coda Singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane is spending increasing time writing and performing music with orchestras. Text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources.

56 64 Josh Goleman


Robert Benson

Can You Hear Her Now? Orchestras are commissioning new music to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. by Nancy Malitz

Chris Lee


about the cover

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s live-streamed March 12 concert at the Kimmel Center, featuring Beethoven Symphony Nos. 5 and 6 and Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht, was performed to an empty auditorium, after the public concert was cancelled to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has affected every aspect of the orchestra and classical music field. See stories on pages 4, 6, 18, and 24 for more on how orchestras are responding during this uncertain period.


VO LU M E 7 1 , N U M B E R 2

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t times of crisis, one of the first things people turn to is orchestral music. Beyond the sheer beauty that offers solace or the knotty dissonance that echoes personal anguish, orchestral music offers a sense of continuity and collective effort. There’s the knowledge that a group of artists came together to play this music and that a composer—in the distant past or right here, right now—understands your pain. As has been said before by smarter minds, “where words fail, music speaks.” So what happens when musicians can’t gather to make music? That is just one of the dilemmas raised by the global pandemic. That might sound like a rather luxurious issue, given that COVID-19 has killed thousands, cratered economies, hammered healthcare. But a harsh irony of the crisis is that the safest known way to contain the virus is to not gather in groups—the central actions of musicians and audiences. Yet as orchestras are forced to cancel concerts, they are not staying silent. In this issue of the magazine, we document some of the responses—online, free of charge—that orchestras and musicians are adopting even as they face an unprecedented health and financial crisis. This issue of Symphony arrives somewhat later than planned. Our apologies for that. As the scale of the pandemic evolved, it became clear that accurate coverage of its impact on orchestras required new articles, new analysis, new resources, new information. Symphony will continue to cover the orchestra field, reporting not only on the current crisis but as part of our longstanding commitment to reporting on multiple topics, among them new music, innovative thinking, established and emerging artists, scholarship, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.


symphony®, the award-winning quarterly

magazine of the League of American Orchestras, discusses issues critical to the orchestra community and commun­icates to the American public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. EDITOR IN CHIEF Robert Sandla




Clarke-Newell PUBLISHERS Jesse Rosen

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SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry THE

Orchestras Confront Global Pandemic

New York Philharmonic

It all happened so quickly. people to 100 to no more than ten, orchestras shifted from postJust a few months ago, no one beyond a few scientists had poning individual concerts, to cancelling concerts a few at a time, ever heard of a dangerous new virus. But in early January, reports to shutting down the remainder of their seasons. Suddenly, as began emerging from the Chinese city of Wuhan about the “social distancing” became critically important to limit the spread outbreak of a novel (because new) coronavirus (named for its of COVID-19, one of the most beautiful things that humans spherical, spiky shape). It appeared do—come together in groups to to cause a brutally virulent flu—a make music—had become one of the terribly sad situation in a distant most dangerous. country. Then COVID-19, as the Concert halls, performing arts cendisease caused by the virus is called, ters, and conservatories nationwide spread quickly, with often fatal closed, due to safety precautions and results. The virus leapt borders: governmental restrictions, and the toward the end of January, cities rare and sobering sight of shuttered across Asia were being hit. A very concert halls became commonplace. few weeks after that, the localized But the music did not stop. Orchesepidemic metastasized into a global tras and musicians, recognizing that A New York Philharmonic Facebook post in mid-March epitopandemic; millions carried the one of the safest ways to share their mized the situation at orchestras nationwide due to the panvirus; thousands perished. At this collective art is online, livestreamed demic. The iconic plaza in front of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln writing, the United States leads the Center was soon closed to the public. concerts without in-person audiencplanet in the number of cases, with es, performed from musicians’ own nearly 600,000 people testing positive. (China and India each homes, posted chats by music directors, hopped on social media, have four times the population of the U.S. but at press time reand made educational resources and archival recordings available. port only a fraction of cases compared to the U.S.) The pandemic Youth orchestras and music schools went virtual, with instruction upended the global economy and hammered healthcare systems. and coaching delivered digitally. Orchestras rushed to make their Orchestras have not been exempt. The widening effect of the music available to anyone anywhere—usually free of cost. These virus on orchestras paralleled its global spread. In late January, generous acts may take a financial toll down the road, as they do the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra was one of the first to not generate income. cancel concerts. As cities in Asia went into lockdown, ensembles Orchestras are taking multiple approaches, tailored to their including the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra cancelled concerts, own situations, to the loss of box-office revenue imposed by the then the rest of their seasons. In Europe, La Scala, La Fenice, the pandemic. Some have furloughed musicians, administrators, conParis Opera—enduring landmarks of classical music—shut down. cert-hall workers; some are paying musicians for cancelled conThe earliest direct impact on American orchestras was the cancelcerts; some have committed to paying everyone for the remainder lation of international tours by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, of the season; still others have reduced salaries across the board Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and San while maintaining benefits including health insurance. Francisco Symphony. A few months ago, no one knew about coronavirus. Now it Soon, American orchestras of all sizes were responding with has spread nearly worldwide and disrupted modern society in alacrity, motivated by ethical concern for the health of musicians, unprecedented ways. As they have before, orchestras are finding staff, and audiences. As stay-at-home recommendations became innovative ways to keep the music going—even as they confront legal mandates and limits on public gatherings shrank from 500 extraordinary challenges.

League Resources Find information and resources concerning the pandemic from the League of American Orchestras throughout this issue of Symphony. In addition, the League is posting updates about coping with the pandemic as a service to the orchestra field. These resources include information about the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security package; discussion groups and one-on-one consultations for League members; webinars led by experts on key topics; guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and other authorities; and more. Visit the League’s coronavirus preparedness site.




The League of American Orchestras announced on April 3 that Simon Woods, a highly experienced and forward-looking leader in the orchestra field, has been named President and CEO of the League, effective September 1, 2020. Woods will guide the League in fulfilling its mission: to advance the experience of orchestral music, support the people and organizations that create it, and champion the contributions they make to the health and vibrancy of communities. He succeeds Jesse Rosen, who has served as President and CEO since 2008. Rosen announced in June 2019 that he would step down from his position at the League, and a Recruitment and Selection Committee of the League’s Board began a national search in fall 2019. The League plans to recognize Rosen’s successful tenure with events that will be scheduled after the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging

Simon Woods Named League’s Next President and CEO

Woods will work closely with the League’s staff and board to sustain and grow the organization’s programmatic excellence, its support for its members, and the prominent role it occupies in national arts advocacy. He will be a leading voice for the League’s 1,700 institutional and individual members—including orchestras across the 50 states and around the world—ensuring that the League empowers them with knowledge, perspective, and resources to navigate a rapidly changing environment. Woods brings 32 years of experience in the field of orchestral music to the League. He is currently Interim Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, having served as CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (2018-19), President and CEO of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (2011-17), Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (2005-11), and President and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (2004-05). He was Vice President, Artistic Planning and Operations, for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 2002 to 2004, having joined the orchestra in 1997 after almost a decade as a classical CD producer at EMI Classics in London. Woods has a Bachelor of Arts in music (musicology, conducting, composition) from the University of Cambridge, Clare College, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Conducting from the Guildhall School of Music, London. A long-time advocate for new music, Woods has been responsible for dozens of commissions of new works that have gone on to win prestigious awards. He has championed diversity and equity and has worked to create systemic change from the inside of the organizations he has run. A strong believer in the importance of community relationships, Woods has led programs focusing on access for young people, homelessness, prisons, and native tribe partnerships. Passionately committed to the professional development of the orchestra leaders of the future, Woods has for two decades contributed to the League’s professional development programs. He is director of the League’s signature annual immersive training program, Essentials of Orchestra Management. “We are thrilled that Simon will become our President and CEO, given his passion for orchestral music, his track record of advancing the League’s mission, and his vision for change as orchestras pursue deeper engagement with their communities,” said League Board Chair Douglas Hagerman. “In this time of pandemic and all of its challenges, Simon brings to the table not only strong, steady leadership, but also personal qualities that will nurture our organization and its members—qualities such as listening, integrity, and humanity. Simon will extend and embolden the critical work that Jesse Rosen has started.” “I am truly humbled to take on this critical leadership role,” said Woods. “Orchestras have been at the center of my life since I first played clarinet in my local youth orchestra many years ago. They have given me my career, many of my friendships, and an undying sense of wonder about the magic that happens on stage when great musicians come together as one. We are deep into one of the most challenging periods that our world has ever experienced, but I have tremendous faith in our long-term prospects as we re-invent our art form, build authentic relationships with our communities, and reflect the vibrant cultural mix of the country on our stages and in our halls. Our field has never been more dynamic than it is today, and my pledge is to champion that dynamism and tirelessly support the amazing people—onstage and off—who make it possible.”



League Provides Essential Resources and Assistance to Orchestras During Pandemic The League of League of American Orchestras is working tirelessly to help the orchestra field navigate the pandemic crisis. The League’s activities on this front are guided by three imperatives: help orchestras address immediate hardship with real-time tactical support; unite our community and leverage its collective strength; hold fast to our vision for vibrant and civically engaged music-making and organizations. As a health and safety precaution, League staff began working from home on March 16. All staffers remain available at their regular email addresses; find a staff contact list with phone number and email addresses at americanorchestras.org/about-the-league/staff-directory.html. The address for general inquiries is member@americanorchestras.org. ​Here is a partial list of recent League activity to support orchestras during the pandemic. Visit americanorchestras.org for the most current information on these and other League programs and resources. Advocacy: The League remains at the forefront of advocacy on Capitol Hill for federal relief for orchestras and musicians as well as advocating about other issues of importance to orchestras. The League is constantly updating its online federal assistance page to provide the latest information on available forms of federal relief, and members can ask Congress to support further essential aid through the League’s talking points and action center. Webinars on federal relief: Two free League webinars are now available on demand to guide viewers through specific questions about how various forms of federal relief apply to orchestras and their workforces. The webinars feature expert attorneys and are moderated by Heather Noonan, the League’s Vice President for Advocacy. Individualized legal assistance on federal relief: The League offers member orchestras individualized technical assistance on the COVID-19 federal relief opportunities, from qualified legal experts at the Pryor Cashman law firm. This is available for a deeply discounted rate that is subsidized by the League. Executive 1:1 consultations: In addition to offering peer group calls among members, the League has assembled a group of experienced leaders from a variety of orchestras to be available to executive directors of member orchestras for free one-to-one consultations. These leaders, who have volunteered to help and have worked through crises before, are eager to support other orchestra executive directors through the challenges of the pandemic.

Thanks to advocacy by the League, this spring orchestras in all 50 states contacted more than 400 members of Congress to stress the vital importance of government assistance to orchestras during negotiations over COVID-19 federal relief. This map shows the number of messages sent by League-member orchestras to legislators in each state.

National Conference: Due to the pandemic, the League has cancelled its annual in-person Conference and transformed it into an extended online event that is free for all members. Global Stages | Local Stories will take place in May and June. The League will provide an array of online resources, webinars, and virtual gatherings designed to deliver the information orchestras need to navigate the global pandemic and its aftermath; to continue advancing the imperatives of equity, relevance, innovation, and creativity; and to unite and inspire the orchestra community. Fundraising webinars: The League organized two free webinars to help orchestras raise contributed support amid the current crisis. Fundraising in This Time of Crisis and Maintaining Donor Relationships took place in April; recordings will be available. Symphony Spot website: The League has created SymphonySpot.org, a new website to spotlight the creative ways that orchestras are providing music online during the era of social distancing. Symphony Spot features web streams, archival recordings, and educational resources from more than 100 orchestras, venues, and soloists who are members and friends of the League. League members wishing to be added to the directory should visit the site. The site links to members’ donation pages and social-media channels.




Courtesy San Diego Symphony

In February, the San Diego Symphony announced that its new permanent outdoor concert venue, The Shell, is slated to open on July 10. The Shell—the name reflects its shape as well as the venue’s waterfront location—replaces the orchestra’s longtime Bayside Summer Nights venue, located at the same Embarcadero Marina Park South site. The 13,000-square-foot covered stage boasts improved acoustics from the old structure, with a Meyer Sound Constellation System and terraced seating. The flexible space can hold from 2,000 to 10,000 guests for smaller events or large shows. The San Diego Symphony’s first season at The Shell will range from classical concerts led by Music Director Rafael Payare to Broadway, jazz, and R&B performances. The inaugural summer series at the Shell runs from July 10 through Oct. 1, with a three-day opening Artist’s rendering of The Shell, the San Diego Symphony’s new, yearround outdoor concert and events venue, currently scheduled to open weekend including on July 10 classical performances by the orchestra with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and cellist Alisa Weilerstein; a Broadway program conducted by Rob Fisher, hosted by Chita Rivera and Len Cariou; and a San Diego Symphony concert featuring vocalist Jennifer Hudson.

Cello Leader

Rosie Constantine

British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was just eighteen when he jumped into public consciousness, dazzling millions of TV viewers with music by von Paradis, Fauré, and Schubert at the 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But the cellist, now 21, is having an equally outsized impact on music education and increasing diversity in the classical music field, both in his home country and around the world. In the U.K., he’s ambassador for a nonprofit that supports music education for elementary-school children in London, and this winter, he visited students in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, the orchestra’s free after-school education initiative launched by Music Director Marin Alsop in Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason (seated, sixth from right) leads a group class with cello students at Baltimore’s Mary Ann 2008. At Baltimore’s Mary Ann Winterling Elementary School, January 2020. Winterling Elementary School, Kanneh-Mason led a class for 75 cellists, with activities including a group improvisation by Kanneh-Mason and the students. During the same visit, Kanneh-Mason made his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut with Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 at the Music Center at Strathmore and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, on a program that included Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Florence Price’s The Oak. americanorchestras.org

Orchestra + Thorchestra Thorgy Thor—the self-taught cellist, conservatory-trained violinist and violist, and drag performer whose real name is Shane Thor Galligan—is spending a lot of time performing with orchestras. Thorgy’s unusual hybrid concert career was launched following a 2016 appearance as a contestant in season eight of the TV competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race, a stint that included a well-received violin performance. Over the last few years, Thorgy’s concert dates billed as “Thorgy Thor and the Thorchestra” have included performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Opening the Shell

Backstage at the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s January 20 concert (left to right): vocalist Aryssa Burns; guest performer Thorgy Thor; Associate Concertmaster Joseph Meyer; Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees.

San Francisco Symphony, and, most recently, two January dates with North Carolina’s Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, led by Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees. Thorgy notes that programs typically include everything from Tchaikovsky and Copland to Lady Gaga and Madonna: “I studied at Hartt Conservatory and Purchase Conservatory of Music. Drag was always a very large part of my artistic expression, so it was only a matter of time before it all came together.”


2020 Avery Fisher Career Grants Lauren Desberg

Usually the winners of the annual Avery Fisher Career Grants are announced at a celebratory in-person event that includes live music-making by the honorees. This time around, due to health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, the announcement was broadcast on NYC classical station WQXR, with previously recorded performances by each honoree along with short interviews. But there was still plenty of excitement during Rachell Ellen W the March 25 broadcast, which was hosted by Elliott Forrest and also streamed on WQXR. ong org. This year’s recipients are Stella Chen, violinist; Zlatomir Fung, cellist; and Rachell Ellen Wong, Baroque violinist. This marks the first time a Baroque violinist has been awarded a Career Grant. The Avery Fisher Career Grants give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists and chamber ensembles judged to have potential for major careers. Each recipient receives an award of $25,000 to be used for career advancement. Some Symphony magazine bragging rights: cellist Zlatomir Fung was n e profiled in Symphony’s Winter 2019 issue, and violinist Stella Chen was profiled in Ch Stella Zlatomir Fung the Winter issue of Symphony, which came out in February.

Denver Philharmonic’s New Looks

ACO Salutes Musical Movers and Shakers

The saying goes, you look as good as you feel. Audiences at Denver Philharmonic Orchestra concerts have always been encouraged to wear whatever is comfortable—and those rules now extend to DPO musicians, too. This winter, the orchestra introduced a gender-neutral dress code allowing multiple options for musicians. Traditionally, symphony dress codes have two categories of acceptable concert dress: men and women. The updated rules use more gender-fluid language when outlining musician dress-code options, which include tuxedos, trousers, blouses, and long-sleeved dresses. “We started thinking about updating it after DPO bassist Xadie James Antonio asked if they could dress following our women’s dress code last May,” said Executive Director Valerie Clausen. “We pledged to update our dress code this season.” Antonio stated, “As a gender-queer, nonbinary person, I was thrilled. It is very affirming to be able to express myself in a way that fits the person I am. This very slight change in language has a huge effect on transgendered individuals and sets a precedent for other similar organizations to do the same.”

At its 2020 gala and fundraiser on March 4, American Composers Orchestra in New York City celebrated three people who have effected change in the American musical landscape. This year’s honorees, in photo from left: countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who had just wrapped up an acclaimed run in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera production of Akhnaten; Yolanda Wyns, music director of the Harlem School of the Arts; and League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen, whose long association with the ACO includes serving on its board of directors. American Composers Orchestra is dedicated to the creation, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers.

Musical America’s 2020 Winners


American Composers Orchestra

Richard Termine

Guitar took center stage in December, when Sharon Isbin received Musical America’s 2020 award for instrumentalist of the year. Other 2020 winners were Joan Tower as composer of the year, Danish String Quartet as ensemble of the year, baritone Peter Mattei as vocalist of the year, and Austria’s Salzburg Festival as festival of the year. Radio journalist Annie Bergen served as Winners of Musical America’s 2020 awards (left to right): emcee at the December event guitarist Sharon Isbin; baritone Peter Mattei; composer Joan Tower; Salzburg Festival Artistic Director Markus Hinterat Carnegie Hall’s Weill Terrace häuser and President Helga Rabl-Stadler (front row); and Danish String Quartet members Fredrik Øland (violin) Asbjørn Room, with Musical America features editor Sedgwick Clark Nørgaard (viola), and Fredrik Sjölin (cello). presenting the recipients with their awards. It was the 59th year of Musical America’s annual awards event; the first winner was Leonard Bernstein, in 1961. Musical America is publisher of the annual Directory for the Performing Arts and the daily news site MusicalAmerica.com.



National Alliance for Audition Support: Increasing Diversity at U.S. Orchestras To advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at American orchestras by expanding the numbers of emerging Black and Latinx musicians, in 2018 the League of American Orchestras, Sphinx Organization, and New World Symphony joined forces to launch the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS). An unprecedented nationwide initiative, NAAS offers Black and Latinx musicians a customized combination Emilia Mettenbrink, shown at a NAAS of mentoring, audition preparation, financial Audition Intensive, won a section violin support, and audition previews. Now in its second year, NAAS has already made a substantial position with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra in April 2019. difference in the lives of hundreds of musicians of color and dozens of U.S. orchestras. Here’s an update.

File This!

• Nineteen musicians won 22 auditions in orchestras. • Twelve musicians were placed on substitute lists or won fellowship positions with orchestras.

• Five musicians won one-year contract positions with orchestras. • 138 musicians have received NAAS support since 2018; support includes NAAS grants and/or participation in NAAS Audition Intensives.

• Since August 2018, 261 NAAS grants have been awarded to 107 musicians, totaling

$254,595.93. The grants enable musicians to take part in auditions, pursue substitute or short-term playing opportunities, or repair their instruments. • In two years, the number of Orchestra Partners providing financial contributions to support the program has nearly doubled, from 41 to 74. • In 2018-19, 68 musicians participated in five NAAS Audition Intensives for strings, low strings, and winds and brass, hosted by the New World Symphony. The National Alliance for Audition Support is made up of The Sphinx Organization, the lead program and fiscal administrator; the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; and the League of American Orchestras, representing 700 orchestras. NAAS is supported by a four-year grant of $1.8 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as well as contributions from orchestras across the U.S. The Alliance is also grateful to the American Federation of Musicians, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, and the Regional Orchestra Players Association for their participation and support.

League Webinar: How to Use Audiencebuilding Research from Wallace Foundation Orchestras are always on the lookout for ways to build audiences and connect with more communities. The Wallace Foundation has published numerous articles and case studies on audience development through its Building Audiences for the Arts initiative, with more to come. How can orchestras take advantage of this wealth of information? On March 18, the League of American Orchestras presented a free webinar on utilizing Wallace resources hosted by Rachel Roberts, associate professor of Music Leadership at the Eastman School of Music. She shared insights and strategies, and explored Wallace research about performing arts groups that successfully brought in new audiences. Nearly two hundred orchestra administrators attended the hour-long webinar—everyone from executive directors and youth orchestra directors to marketing and development staff. One viewer weighed in: “Great webinar today! Awesome information, a lot to think about.” The webinar is available at americanorchestras.org/wallacewebinar. Visit the audience-building resources at the Wallace Foundation section of americanorchestras.org. americanorchestras.org

“I’ve admired Dan Kamin’s work for many years. He has a unique talent for physical comedy and wonderful feel for music.” — Ted Wiprud, Director of Education, New York Philharmonic

“Engaging and delightful shows for symphony audiences of all ages.” — Don Reinhold, Executive Director, Wichita Symphony

“Dan is absolutely THE BEST artist you would ever want to work with—his shows are terrific and his residencies really build your audience.” — Delaware Symphony

Check out the file on Dan at www.dankamin.com

Dan Kamin

Comecdeyrtos Con (412)563-6505 dan2@dankamin.com 9



Nonprofit boards are rethinking their mandates and missions in the light of evolving expectations about transparency, ethics, and community engagement. Here, Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, discusses how nonprofits and their boards are adapting—and explores the implications for orchestras. by Jesse Rosen


e shouldn’t be surprised that high-stakes, emotionally charged political divides and controversies would eventually show up in the board rooms and executive offices of arts and culture organizations. In New York City, home of the League’s headquarters, we’ve seen the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Natural History all face public controversy over the affiliations of board member and donors, and the programming choices of curators, deemed by some to be antithetical to their missions. While orchestras have not yet experienced such public outcries, the underlying tensions and conflicts are present in many of our organizations as well. With this in mind, I invited Daniel Weiss, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to talk with a group of orchestra executives about what he has learned from his experiences at the Met. In his cogent remarks, Dan reframed these “problems” as extraordinary opportunities for board and executive learning and for the sharpening of mission and pursuit of excellence. Dan subsequently and kindly agreed to this interview so we could capture his views for our wider Symphony audience. JESSE ROSEN: Everyone’s been noticing the public commentary and controversy in the museum community, particularly around curatorial decisions but also about board members, donors, and their affiliations. Does this feel to you like a passing change in the weather, or is this a climate change, something larger going on?


DAN WEISS: I think there is genuine, fundamental change in the ways in which our organizations function in the world. And therefore, by extension, the ways in which our organizations are perceived and what expectations the public and others have of us. I think it is a seismic change and call it a paradigm shift in how we operate, how we’re governed, how we’re

Chris Lee

Arena or Sanctuary: The New Roles of Public Institutions Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

viewed, and what our obligations are to the public. More specifically, I think that we might call it the new normal, this idea that the environment we’re in now is likely due to sustain for the duration. It’s a significant and enduring change. It’s increased as we have worked at our organizations to create increased access. We want everybody to feel welcome at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or attending an orchestra. We’re participating in other kinds of cultural or civic community organizations. There is the idea that everybody’s welcome. All of that presents an obligation for us to be more transparent, to provide access to information about what we do. Along with that is a greater obligation that our programming is responsive to the interests and needs of all those communities, to not just some segment of the population—maybe historically the Met was concerned with a certain narrower group than it does today. All of those parts are changing and therefore, our organization must respond to that and we are in a new normal. ROSEN: What are some of the questions that organizations should be asking themselves in this “new normal”? WEISS: The environment might be described in some ways by the kinds of questions or issues that are raised. There symphony


Rebecca Schear/Metropolitan Museum of Art

are six big ones that come up that we are obligated to think about. The first is, who are we serving? Are we genuinely able to meet the needs of those people? That is, as audiences grow and become more complicated, are we actually modifying our programming, our approach to them in in significant ways? The second is, who should pay for culture? This is an issue that we all face in one version or another, in that we have historic ways of generating our revenues. As audiences change, as the environment changes, so do those sources and access to resources change. But ultimately, who has responsibility for sustaining organizations that might not be primarily funded by the

government? None of our organizations are primarily funded by the government. There’s a complicated set of questions that relate to it in terms of how we think about that shared obligation, particularly if we are a community resource obligated to provide programming and access to the wider community. What obligations does the wider community have to our viability? The third is, how and when should we engage the public in controversy, especially in a society that is already polarized and increasingly incapable of strenuous debate? At the Metropolitan, we might ask by extension, are we a sanctuary or an arena? Do we think about our place as

League Resources for Boards The League of American Orchestras’ online Noteboom Governance Center offers a comprehensive range of support, strategies, and programs designed to strengthen governance practice in orchestras, including regional seminars, groups focusing on top-level challenges, peer exchange and learning sessions at the League’s National Conference, and more. The site also includes a guide to boardroom ethics; a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Center; and the regularly updated Orchestra Boardroom News­ letter. Visit the Noteboom Governance Center at americanorchestras.org for more.


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Daniel H. Weiss in front of the Temple of Dendur at a press event launching the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary in 2019.

Niches intended for sculptures in the monumental façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art stood empty for over a century until September 2019, when the museum commissioned Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu to create four works for the niches. The commission reflects the museum’s rising engagement with the art—and the artists—of our time.


“There is genuine, fundamental change in the ways in which our organizations function in the world—and, by extension, the ways in which our organizations are perceived and what expectations the public and others have of us.” places as well. The question is, how do we think about building a program that is both enlightening and inspiring, while at the same time educational and challenging? My own view on the answer to that question is that we should not shy away from controversy, we should model how controversy is discussed and engaged. The fourth is a broader one: whose museum is it? How should these institutions be governed? As increased access and programmatic diversity become central to who we are, the question being raised today is, who should be on our boards? Who’s in charge of these places? Why are those people chosen to be on the board? Why not other people? How is the administrative leadership for these institutions chosen? Why isn’t it more representative of the larger community? What does that even mean? The center of that question is a core one: who really has a stake in owning these institutions and governing them? The fifth question is, whose art is it? For orchestras, the question would be, whose music are we going to perform? How should we think about those questions? And how do we make those decisions with regard to the presentation of that?


Metropolitan Museum of Art

somewhere where people can go to get away from the world—or to engage the world? This is a very important question. We live in a world today that has lost the ability to discuss difficult issues in a respectful way. We don’t see it in our government or in our Congress; they don’t do this anymore. We see increasingly that college and university campuses are riven around these issues. And we find them on our own in art museums and other

Daniel H. Weiss became president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in July 2015 and was appointed president and chief executive officer in June 2017. Previously Weiss was president of Haverford College, president of Lafayette College, and dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, where he also served as professor and chair of the History of Art Department. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Weiss is vice chair of the Board of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board of the Yale School of Management, and a trustee of the Wallace Foundation, the Library of America, American Federation of Arts, and the Posse Foundation. Weiss holds an M.A. and Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and a B.A. from George Washington University.

In the fine arts and art museums, the question is inflected differently, because we collect objects from around the world, and therefore we make discriminating choices about what we display and what we don’t display and how we display it. In some cases, because of the ways in which museums acquire art, there are genuine questions about whether we have it in a legitimate way. We want to navigate within the law, but at the time some of these objects were acquired, the law was different. But the question is fundamentally about program: what should you be presenting and why? Where does quality fit into that—and whose estimations of quality? What obligations do you have to elevate and engage an audience in diverse access to musical achievement? And, do you have the resources to think about that? The last of the questions is, should we decide how to draw limits on who can

participate in funding our institutions, or even more fundamentally, whose work can be included in our collection? In the musical world it might be, what does your cannon look like? These issues are increasingly relevant. Should we accept gifts from people who might have objectionable behaviors or made their money in ways that we challenge? Where do we draw that line? I think we would all acknowledge we would not accept gifts from egregious criminals. If a neo-Nazi organization wanted to give us a named gallery here at the museum, we would not spend any time at all deliberating on why we would reject that gift and acknowledge that group in any way. Let’s take a less extreme example. Suppose an organization that has made its money through the development of fossil fuels wants to make a big gift to an orchestra in a community where they have challenges associated with environmental issues. Would that be a good symphony


idea or not? What if an alcohol company wanted to make big donations? We can all imagine how that slippery slope might play out. But we would all acknowledge that there is a line. That begs the question as to what are the rules or principles we bring to how we make decisions around those kinds of situations, and in an environment that we would call the new normal, where transparency is expected. Whatever we decide to do, we should be thoughtful about those decisions and our accountability for them. ROSEN: Can you talk about how some of these issues have showed up at the Met? WEISS: Yes. We have faced a variety of these issues. The governance question of who serves on our boards or the boards of other cultural institutions—we’ve all seen issues of that. This last year, that issue was most visible around Warren Kanders, who was vice chair of the board of the Whitney [Museum of American Art]. After a great deal of controversy [public protests due

to his company’s manufacture of tear gas and other military supplies] around his membership there, although by all indications he was an excellent trustee, he stepped down. Because of the controversy, he felt he was no longer productive for the museum. So the question for all of us is, do we want to take a different view of how we vet board members? We have not faced that particular issue with the Met but everyone thinks about that, and other museums and organizations are hearing from the public. On the issue of philanthropy, we have had a relationship with the Sackler family for more than a half century. They founded Purdue Pharma and a product that they helped develop called Oxycontin. That drug has been responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of citizens who have used or misused it because of the potent nature of the drug. The question before us was, should we have a relationship with the Sackler family? There were many who said we should have no relationship with the Sackler family, we should

remove their name from everywhere that it appears in the museum. The complicating factor is that there are many Sacklers, and we receive gifts from Sacklers who are not at all associated with Purdue Pharma or Oxycontin. Those gifts were given to us before the company was even invented. So, what obligations do we have to those Sacklers who are completely innocent of this? The second issue is that the Sackler case has not yet been tried in a court of law. There has been no direct finding of responsibility. The question for the Met or any other institution is, on what basis will you make a decision about their acceptability if you don’t have access to information and evidence that is directly related to such a decision? There are some who would argue that the court of public opinion is sufficient—if the Sackler name is seen to be objectionable to a large por-

Recent headlines capture the new scrutiny that museums are under as public expectations evolve.



tion of the population, then the Metropolitan ought to take the name down. I don’t think that’s good enough. First of all, whose name—all Sacklers? All Sacklers or just some Sacklers, and would we then delineate those Sacklers by putting their first name up? Those are questions to consider. At this point we’ve made two decisions. One, we are no longer working with Sacklers who are directly connected to Purdue Pharma, because we believe there is enough evidence to suggest that this terrible tragedy has something to do with those Sacklers. It is not helpful to our mission to be engaging with them. Therefore we are not accepting gifts from the Sackler family in that context. We have not removed Sackler names from the museum, in part because many of those names are associated with people who have nothing to do with Purdue Pharma. And second, there hasn’t yet been finding a responsibility that would allow us we feel justified to remove their names because we don’t know enough to condemn them in that way. So that’s a work in progress for us. All organizations need to ask that question. Even more important, perhaps, than asking it, they’re obligated to answer it to the public. We are ultimately a public institution and a resource that has an obligation to be transparent. We all know that on the philanthropic question, there’s a limit somewhere. We’re not going to take money, as I said before, from certain

kinds of characters who are bad actors in ways that undermine our mission. But there’s very reasonable basis for debate and discussion among leadership and the board as to where that line is drawn. It may be that the Metropolitan would that draw that line in a different place than the Cleveland Orchestra would. That’s totally appropriate. The obligation of shared governance is deliberation, which means thoughtful review of the question and an articulation of a point of view that is accessible to the public and open to debate.

“We should not shy away from controversy, we should model how controversy is discussed and engaged.” Those are some of the ways in which the new normal has impinged on us at the Met. And no doubt, at many orchestras as well. ROSEN: In each of those instances, you say, “we decided.” Can you talk about the process—who’s the we in how the Met addresses these questions and what what’s the nature of the internal conversation that takes place? WEISS: One of the distinguishing characteristics of mission-driven institutions, whether they’re orchestras, universities, hospitals, or art museums, is that mission-driven institutions require shared governance. My answer to the question of

Dan Weiss: Five Principles of Nonprofit Governance Embrace shared governance as a decision-making tool and a resource, not a burden or an obligation. Shared governance is primarily board and senior management and then other groups depending upon circumstance. Mission-driven institutions, at least cultural ones, are for the most part nonpartisan. We should not take positions on the current political debate—except, at the same time, we should be powerful advocates for our mission. Transparency and accountability are positive things. We should be proactive in engaging them. Nonprofit organizations thrive following a philanthropic model of wide participation. We should not be exclusive in who’s allowed to support us. Navigating mission is not an easy thing. We should hold to our mission even as we evolve it in balance with the world around us.


who owns the museum is that it is a community resource, that the trustees have an obligation of oversight and fiduciary responsibility. The administration has a responsibility for management and so forth. On any issue that requires that sort of deliberation, my job as president is to figure out who needs to be in the conversation. Some issues require deliberation with the board, some of them with the curators, some of them with the management team. It varies. On these issues that we’re talking about that relate to the place of the institution in society and how it enacts its mission, the board needs to be involved. In the case of the Sacklers, I organized a working group of trustees and senior leadership—trustees who have knowledge or expertise on these kinds of deliberative questions, people with legal backgrounds or senior leadership experience. We sat in a room and talked about these issues to try to outline various options and how they relate to our mission. So the answer to the question is, shared governance always. How that’s inflected depends on the particular issue and it is the obligation of the CEO to figure out who to bring into the conversation. Ultimately, one tries to achieve consensus on difficult issues. If you can’t achieve consensus, at least you can achieve a shared understanding. Then fundamental responsibility for those decisions resides either with the CEO or with the board or both, depending on the case. ROSEN: How has the work of the Museum changed? Is this a departure from the routine of how people come to work every day and how the board engages? WEISS: I think that’s a wonderful question, and I’ll give it an answer that I hadn’t quite thought about till you asked it. There is an interesting paradox here: as the environment becomes more contentious, and these obligations are being placed upon us, it’s forcing us to be better at what we do and elevate our delivery of mission, our realization of mission. If one of our fundamental principles is that shared governance is the right way for us to enact our mission, as issues become more difficult, more complicated, and the symphony


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Daniel H. Weiss, leaning forward at center, at an Association for a Better New York event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2019. From left: William C. Rudin, former chairman of ABNY; Steve Rubenstein, current ABNY chairman; and Errol Lewis, political journalist at Spectrum News NY1, who moderated a discussion with Weiss.

public scrutiny of those issues of those decisions is higher, then we need to do it better. That means we need to have better shared governance, better deliberation, trustees who are more capable of doing the work of trusteeship. They can’t just be people who write checks—they have to be people who also engage. If you gear up to be the kind of institution that would thrive in the new normal, then you have better shared governance, you have more accountable leadership, you have more articulate representation of your positions, you have better public debate. That serves the public interest in fundamental ways. I welcome this new environment. Even though it makes our jobs harder, it makes also them more interesting, and ultimately more rewarding if we can achieve the expectations that we place on ourselves. ROSEN: My impression is this is new work for orchestras, partly because orchestras are very production-oriented: americanorchestras.org

they put on a show multiple times a week, and there’s tremendous energy around execution of high-quality performances. The big hard deliberative questions that you pose are not something people usually have a lot of time for. What I’m noticing is that orchestras are having to find the space to even have these conversations, because there’s such an environment of produce, produce, produce. How do you find the time and space to do this fuller examination? WEISS: It’s a great point. What draws people to the orchestra in the first place is the love of music and the love of the experience of listening to music and creating music and creating events that allow people to have that experience—all of the things associated with what an orchestra does. You didn’t choose your career any more than I chose mine because I’m really into shared governance or balancing budgets. That said, one of the opportuni-

ties before us as leaders is, how do we hold on to that passionate commitment to the mission, to producing music, giving people that experience, transforming lives that way, but at the same time recognizing that the more thoughtful we are about how we do this work, the more likely we are to reach more people for a longer period of time with higher levels of quality. If that’s the game we’re playing, then we might think about the board not only as a place full of people who love music and who have resources, but also people who are interested in some of those questions or that the people are open enough to that kind of engagement that they’ll learn in that process. It can be someone who loves music, who’s smart and interested and begins to see what the board is doing. The challenge for us is connecting those groups—the board, the musicians, everybody—to why these questions matter. If we could guarantee


them that if we do this well, everything will be better: the music will be better, the audiences will be larger, the resources will be more enduring, the program will be richer. That’s the endgame. Then we figure out how to get there. If we don’t do those things, we’re going to see diminishment of those things and almost all of those dimensions will be less good than they were. ROSEN: Often when people talk and think about these questions about how to engage this wider set of stakeholders, more accountability, everything you do is in the public limelight, you need to please many more constituents, the question comes up: doesn’t this lead to mission creep? If we try to have something for everybody, then who are we? What do we stand for? I hear you saying that these are not opposing poles. This actually strengthens and builds mission rather than detracts from mission. Could you give an illustration of that? WEISS: The fundamental issue there is defining mission clearly. Let’s talk about the Met. The Metropolitan is a museum that aspires to be encyclopedic and comprehensive. Our goal, which is audacious, is to collect the art of every culture across all of time all over the world. We have a million and a half works of art. We have sixteen curatorial departments, we have a 2.4 million square foot building. And we don’t come close to that mission. There are lots of cultures whose art we don’t have represented here. We do have a lot of famous ones. But our goal, our mission is to be expansive and inclusive—but at the same time to exercise discernment, because we’re also interested in excellence and education. We don’t just take everything; we take things and study them and then present them to the public in ways that should enrich their understanding of that culture and the world. We have to make discerning ideas about whether that painting is good enough to hang in our galleries. If it isn’t, then we shouldn’t collect it. For us, it’s folding those things into our mission and recognizing that realizing a mission that is so ambitious and so large-scale is expensive and messy.


We live with that; it’s part of what we do. Bringing large audiences here, it’s preposterous for us to imagine the right thing for us to do is to say that if you don’t know about art, you shouldn’t come here. Seven years ago, there was no sign outside the building that said, this is the Met. You either knew, and you’re welcome to come. If you don’t know, you probably shouldn’t be here. That’s not the world we live in anymore. For us, if that’s our mission and we define it in those ways, then we know what actions we need to take to fulfill that. It includes opening our doors and having really difficult conversations about what constitutes museum-level art, say from a culture that we don’t know that much about.

“We need to have better shared governance, better deliberation, trustees who are more capable of doing the work of trusteeship. They can’t just be people who write checks.” Each institution needs to be able to say, in an elevator talk, what our mission is, at a level where “bringing good art to the public” ain’t a mission. “Playing great music for people” is not a mission. You start with that and then you build on that. You may need to modify that over time, but it should discipline your thinking. ROSEN: Having worked through these issues here at the Met, what do you believe are good practices for how an organization should navigate these challenges? WEISS: It’s really important when dealing with these kinds of issues where it’s not obvious there’s a right or wrong answer, that we should anchor our thinking in a series of principles as to how we make decisions so that they are both worthy of scrutiny but also defensible. That doesn’t mean they don’t change. I would identify five or six principles. The first is, as I mentioned earlier, shared governance should be at the center of this sort of decision-making. Shared governance is

primarily board and senior management and then other groups depending upon circumstance. The first principle is to embrace shared governance as a decisionmaking tool and a resource, not a burden or an obligation. Mission-driven institutions should make their decisions using the model of shared governance in an enlightened way. ROSEN: When you use the term shared governance, what do you mean? WEISS: Shared governance is primarily board and senior management and then other groups depending upon circumstance. The first principle is to embrace shared governance as a decision-making tool and a resource, not a burden or an obligation. The second principle is to be mindful of the fact that mission-driven institutions, at least cultural ones, are for the most part nonpartisan. That means we should not be taking positions on the current political debate—except, at the same time, we should be powerful advocates for our mission. If the president makes a decision or says something that is harmful to our mission, I have a personal obligation to speak out for our museum, whether I like this president or not. In this environment, Donald Trump has on several occasions made statements that were antithetical to our mission. We’ve in each case stood up and said why we thought his statement or his decision was wrong, and we’ve done that in public. Advocacy for mission is not partisan, but getting involved in partisan questions is another matter. The third principle is that transparency and accountability are positive things. We should be proactive in engaging them, but managing them. There are lots of ways to have debate and discussion, and there are lots of ways not to do it. I think this country today has lost that ability to respectfully disagree with each other and learn from each other in debate. Our obligation in all mission-driven institutions is to try to foster a healthier approach to that by being transparent and accountable for what we do, and then letting people come to us. A corollary to that is debate is a very healthy thing. It’s not something symphony


to be shied away from. I don’t believe that controversy is something to be avoided. I don’t believe we should provoke people gratuitously. But controversy is simply a manifestation of disagreement that needs to be addressed, even if you don’t ultimately resolve it. If our obligation is to present creative ideas across the span of human history—and that would be true for an orchestra or a museum—we sure as hell are going to find ourselves in places where people disagree about stuff. It is at that nexus where learning can occur. Why would we run from that? To the contrary, it’s an opportunity. The next principle is that our organizations thrive following a philanthropic model of wide participation. That means we should not be exclusive in who’s allowed to support us. Diversity of funding gives us independence. If no one owns us, we have much more freedom of expression. If 90 percent of our funding came from the City of New York, I can guarantee you our program will look different. Even if the mayor thought he isn’t doing anything, we’d be thinking about that. Diversity of funding sources for many donors gives us a greater independence. That philanthropic model is not a club; we should not be vetting people who can support us based on whether we like them or not, or whether they are in our particular social circle. We should draw that circle much more widely and only exclude from participation those people who are really outside the norms of our mission, people who have egregious business practices or who have social values that are antithetical to our mission. Beyond that, we should take their money and use it to help advance our mission for the public good. The last of my principles is that navigating mission is not an easy thing. It should be done in a self-conscious way. We should be articulating what our mission is even as we’re evolving it. We should hold our mission in balance with the world around us and it might evolve. It may seem like a sacrosanct thing to talk about what our mission is—it’s something that is enduring, but it also is a living thing. We should respond to the communities americanorchestras.org

we serve, not in a knee-jerk fashion but in a reflective fashion. In my experience, those principles have helped us to make the best decisions we can—or at least give us the basis for revising those decisions if we don’t have them right. It’s a work in process. One is well served to think of this

moment as an opportunity to do things better and more thoughtfully. If you can do that, then it’s going to be easier to get larger audiences and address these issues. As a nation, we need to work through this crisis of our paralysis on difficult issues and all of that. In our own institutions, we can model better behavior.

Public Domain News

Rhapsody in Blue is now public domain (But there is a catch) George Gershwin's masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue, entered the public domain on January 1, 2020, but don't celebrate yet; the most commonly performed orchestration, by Ferde Grofé, remains under copyright until 2038. A new edition of the orchestration by Tim Berens, arranger for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, is now available for purchase. Purchasing this new edition will save orchestras the expense of renting the parts and score for each performance. Pianist Michael Chertock, who has performed Rhapsody in Blue 250 times all over the world said, "Tim Berens' new orchestration and score for Rhapsody in Blue are wonderfully readable and full of valuable details. This edition will open up this piece for new generations of pianists, conductors and musicians everywhere." The parts and score were meticulously and lovingly created from Gershwin's handwritten score and the original two piano publication. The music engraving and archival quality paper conform to modern MOLA standards and greatly improve the readability of the parts. This new edition is available in double-wind and triple-wind instrumentation. Samples of the score and parts are available at BerensPopsLibrary.com.

Visit BerensPopsLibrary.com to order a copy of Rhapsody in Blue for your orchestra.

Berens Pops Library, LLC Top Shelf Pops


Jacksonville Symphony

Music in the Time of a Pandemic

In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and shut-down that evolve daily, orchestras and musicians are keeping the music going by embracing a new digital normal. by Jeremy Reynolds Due to restrictions on large gatherings, Florida’s Jacksonville Symphony could not perform for an audience or assemble the full orchestra. A March 20 orchestra concert was replaced by an intimate livestreamed event featuring the Jacksonville Symphony Percussion Section. Onstage at Jacoby Symphony Hall for the livestreamed concert are, from left, James Jenkins, principal tuba, who performed in one of the pieces; Steven Merrill, principal percussion; Kenneth Every, principal timpani; Joel Panian, percussion; and Kevin Garry, percussion.



rchestras posting performance videos to social media is hardly novel. But on March 27 the Toronto Symphony Orchestra released a clip of Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” the “Simple Gifts” excerpt, that garnered tens of thousands of views in the first day alone on Facebook and Instagram. What was special about this clip? None of the Toronto Symphony musicians were playing in the same room as one another—government mandates to limit the spread of COVID-19 meant that they weren’t allowed to perform together. In-

dividual players recorded their parts from their homes, which the symphony then pasted into a collage that circulated amidst announcements of business closures and a shelter-in-place order in the city of Toronto. This isolation has become the new normal for cities and orchestras around the world. Immediately after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, cultural institutions began announcing cancellations and postponements, determined to help halt the spread of the novel symphony


coronavirus. At the time of this writing, the situation is evolving daily, with some state and local government entities banning groups of 250 or more, then 100, then 50, and then 10. In some areas, authorities have instructed non-essential businesses to shutter indefinitely and residents to shelter at home. Conservatories and colleges have moved all classes and teaching to virtual formats. Live concerts are off the menu through May, potentially longer. Orchestras’ loss of revenue is already staggering. Still, orchestras and musicians are responding with resilience and creativity in the midst of an unprecedented global

Carnegie Hall

Though the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s March 12-14 performances were cancelled due to the pandemic, on March 30 the orchestra posted a video of its musicians virtually performing the final movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony. Musicians recorded their individual parts at home; BSO violist Colin Sorgi produced and edited the video.

Carnegie Hall in New York City is among the concert halls and performing arts centers that have closed due to health concerns and bans on public gatherings. Online, Carnegie Hall now spotlights performances from its rich history, new musical events, educational resources, and more.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control's visualization of the microscopic novel coronavirus, responsible for COVID-19. americanorchestras.org

shut-down. Ensembles and performing arts companies swiftly began working to find alternative ways to provide music to the public, live-streaming orchestra and chamber music concerts from eerily empty halls in Buffalo and Philadelphia and Jacksonville and cracking open archives to offer recordings of concerts past. Cellist

Yo-Yo Ma posted videos of himself performing short “Songs of Comfort” and has been encouraging musicians of all levels to do the same. Taking inspiration from viral videos of Italians serenading each other from balconies at home, singers in the U.S. have organized remote group singing to foster community, both online and from


Immediately after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared COVID-19 a pandemic, cultural institutions worldwide began announcing cancellations and postponements to help halt the spread of the virus. self-produced by musicians through its social media channels and website. The Plano Symphony Orchestra in Texas is streaming concerts on Saturday evenings. The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is posting an HD broadcast

Vincere Sylph

windows. Orchestral musicians are recording music and musings from their residences and conductors are leading virtual explorations of repertoire for listeners who must remain at home. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, long a forward-thinking ensemble in terms of its dedication to accessibility, especially via internet streaming, is waiving the traditional fee to view archived performances and expanding those offerings to stream concerts designed for schoolchildren. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is streaming samples from its archive and distributing short performance and interview videos

At New England Conservatory, instruction and coaching has shifted to a virtual model. In photo: NEC faculty member Eyran Katsenelenbogen works from his home with student David Apostolides (visible on the laptop). Many conservatories, music schools, and youth orchestras have moved lessons and rehearsals online.

to its website each day for free; the Met normally broadcasts these live HD performances in movie theaters around the country for about $25 a ticket. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is posting curated videos of musicians to its social channels in the coming weeks, the first of which features PSO violinist Christopher Wu recounting how he brought his violin

to the delivery room for the birth of his daughter. “These videos by musicians are some of the hidden gems in all of this mess,” says Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. “There’s an incredible intimacy to this sort of content, and what a gift to be able to experience musicians as chamber and solo players from their homes. Maybe this is one of those things we shouldn’t have needed a pandemic to make happen.”

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

New Approaches to Streaming


Orchestras aren’t new to the streaming world, but it took some brisk negotiation to allow for more widespread streaming, as the American Federation of Musicians’ current agreement with the Electronic Media Association (EMA) runs to 2022. On March 8, the AFM and EMA took action, negotiating a side letter in just four days to expand streaming rights in light of the pandemic. “Conditions changed hour by hour during that period,” recalls Rochelle Skolnick, special council at the AFM and director of the organization’s Behind the scenes in the control room for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s DSO Replay webcasts. The orchestra has made these concerts and an expanded array of online media available for free during the pandemic.



Detroit Symphony Orchestra

A screengrab of a Detroit Symphony Orchestra DSO Reply webcast captures a March 2019 performance led by André Raphel. The orchestra has long embraced online media, and recently launched further digital initiatives in response to the shutdown of live performances.

Symphonic Services Division. “The first thing we did was lift the caps on an employer’s ability to stream a full concert, but it became clear over that period that we had to be much more expansive.” The union negotiated additional side letters to allow organizations to stream other projects and types of content with similar expeditiousness. The union is also working to weave a safety net for its members, who

includes its orchestra, and much of the staff. Many local branches of the union have relief funds available in certain circumstances, and some are running fund­ raising efforts specifically for freelance symphonic services. “It’s an economic crisis for everybody, not just for us,” says

Meredith Snow, chairperson of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (Snow is also a longtime violinist at the Los Angeles Philharmonic). “A majority of ensembles so far have been working to cover a portion of their performers’ salaries.”

will face significant financial strain during the pandemic. Musicians who have built a living playing for multiple small per-service orchestras are taking a particularly severe financial hit from the cancellations. The Oregon Symphony has furloughed musicians and staff alike, while the Metropolitan Opera has furloughed all union members, which americanorchestras.org

The Kennedy Center

Orchestras and musicians are responding with resilience and creativity in the midst of an unprecedented global shutdown.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., parent organization for the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Opera, and other groups, as well as a major regional arts presenter, has shut down to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.


Some but not all contracts have force majeure clauses built in, a provision that releases contractual parties from obligations and liabilities due to unforeseen ca-

League Resources The League of American Orchestras is posting resources and information about coping with the pandemic as a service to the orchestra field. These resources include regularly updated information about the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security package; links to other assistance programs; discussion groups and one-on-one consultations for League members; guidance from the Centers for Disease Control; and more. These resources are being expanded and updated on an ongoing basis. Find resources, guidance, and information from the League at americanorchestras.org. In April, the League of American Orchestras unveiled Symphony Spot, an online hub of livestreams, videos, and digital learning events from members and friends of the League. As concert halls across the country go dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic, orchestras have given hope and solace to a quarantined public by making an unprecedented number of online performances and educational resources available free of charge. Symphony Spot gives teachers, journalists, bloggers, and the general public a one-stop landing place to explore the inspiration that only orchestral music can provide. Visit symphonyspot.org. From the time that COVID-19 first impacted the performing arts, The Hub, the League’s news site, has been posting daily updates about the effects of the pandemic on orchestras, musicians, concert halls, and conservatories. The Hub also posts news coverage of the concert streams and recordings that orchestras and musicians are making available online. The Hub will continue to report up-todate news as the situation evolves. Visit https://hub.americanorchestras.org/ for more.


tastrophes or disasters. A global pandemic certainly applies, though many orchestras are working to cover at least partial salaries for musicians. The New York Philharmonic, for example, announced that it was cancelling the remainder of its season and anticipating a $10 million dollar loss in revenue. The orchestra paid musicians their full salaries in March before reducing to base bay in April and then 75 percent of base in May. Musicians and management will meet to determine compensation for the summer months as the pandemic progresses. Some orchestras, among them the Kansas City Symphony, will continue to pay musicians through the end of the season despite cancelled concerts. Financial Impact

In terms of financial risk to institutions arising from the loss of box-office and other income due to the pandemic, League President and CEO Rosen says orchestras of all sizes are impacted, but in different ways. Medium-sized organizations are particularly vulnerable with their high fixed costs but more fragile income streams both philanthropically and from

The loss of income from the box office and other sources due to the pandemic is presenting significant financial challenges to orchestras. ticket sales than orchestras in larger communities. Large-budget orchestras can have very large payrolls and high sensitivity to stock market volatility, impacting endowments and pension funds. And while smaller-budget orchestras have the most flexibility, they often have the thinnest margins. “Cash is still king,” Rosen says. “There’s a reliance on that cash for real day-to-day needs.” To that end, many orchestras have initiated emergency fund­ raisers, targeting individuals and donors close to the organizations. “This is totally appropriate—no one should hold back,” Rosen says. “There’s a category of funders who are deeply aligned with the organization and have a personal stake in helping. Many of these funders, both individual and institutional, are stepping up.”

On March 27 musicians from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed an excerpt from Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” that garnered tens of thousands of views in the first day alone. None of the musicians were playing in the same room.

At this moment, each day brings news of streaming offerings and emergency funds, of current cancellations and announcements for the coming season. The speed with which contracts have been updated and the creativity demonstrated by individual musicians and organizations shows a promising streak of adaptation. This is a good thing. But to assume that the concert landscape won’t be deeply impacted would be overly optimistic. “It may take a while for people to feel comfortable coming back to concerts,” says Rosen. “They may love their orchestras and love music and want to keep donating and supporting but they may not feel comfortable going out. But I think we’d like to believe that the appetite and desire for live performances by orchestras for large groups of people won’t be shaken.” JEREMY REYNOLDS is the classical music critic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He also writes for Opera and Early Music America magazines and San Francisco Classical Voice.



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Up Close, Far Away The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin perform an audience-less concert at the Kimmel Center, March 12, 2020.

During the time of coronavirus, with large-group gatherings banned and concert halls closed, streamed orchestra concerts are proliferating. For a brief period in March, orchestras performed their concerts to empty halls—the audiences were online. Here, a viewer’s perspective on the experience of orchestra livestreams that week.


by Clive Paget


his March, a global pandemic put a halt to live music as we know it. All around the globe, orchestras and musicians scrambled to adapt to the enforced closure of concert halls. Soloists performed in their own living rooms, and orchestras presented concerts in empty auditoriums as virtual viewers tuned in at Facebook, YouTube, and other streaming sites. But could performances without audiences truly feel “live”? The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra was among the first to join the stream of orchestra streams, announcing that their March 11 concert at the St. Louis Cathesymphony


A screenshot from the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s livestream of its March 12 program of Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at an empty Symphony Hall. Viewers could watch the stream on Vimeo; the archived stream was posted online the next day.

dral would be audience-free and streamed at the orchestra’s website and on TV station WLAE.com. The Philadelphia Orchestra played Beethoven on March 12 to an empty Verizon Hall, offering a free livestream on its website. The following night, Ohio’s Toledo Symphony Orchestra followed suit with a lively program of Lili Boulanger, Mahler, and Brahms,

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s March 12 livestreamed concert made no attempt to hide the empty seats, lending an enormous poignancy to the event. while New York’s Rochester Philharmonic switched online to stream their education concert to participating schools. Others livestreamed music for the first time, as the New Haven Symphony Orchestra did on March 5 at the Yale School of Music’s online portal. Watching a concert from the comfort of your own home has advantages. While some events are available only in real time, channel-hopping allows you to pick and americanorchestras.org

mix from several programs. And while a bored dog demanding your attention might be an unwelcome distraction, there’s no pesky usher to stop you sipping a glass of wine or munching on popcorn (full disclosure: I have done both). Archived live-streamed concerts on websites and at Facebook and YouTube allow audiences to tune in and enjoy the music-making days, weeks, even years later. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s March 12 performance of Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies, livestreamed on Facebook, included surreal shots of players in tails tuning in front of empty seats, and a little nervous laughter when Concertmaster David Kim was greeted not with audience applause but silence. Then came a thoughtful address from Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “This music that we cherish, that we love, that inspires us, has survived hundreds of years of hardship and struggles,” he said, addressing the empty house—and, by extension, the viewers online. “I know that soon we are going to be back sharing this music with all of you as a great community, as a joyful event. But as we now share with you virtually, I know it will help us through these strange and difficult times for the entire

League launches Symphony Spot, online destination for orchestra livestreams, videos, and more In early April, the League of American Orchestras unveiled Symphony Spot, an online hub of livestreams, videos, and digital learning events from Leaguemember orchestras. As concert halls across the country go dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic, orchestras have given hope and solace to a quarantined public by making an unprecedented number of online performances and educational resources available free of charge. Symphony Spot gives teachers, journalists, bloggers, and the general public a one-stop landing place to explore the inspiration that only orchestral music can provide. Visit symphonyspot.org.

world, helping us feel together on this beautiful planet Earth.” The livestream—which also included the world premiere of Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht, a piece about global warming—made no attempt to hide the empty seats, lending an enormous poignancy to


someone there,” quipped Rattle. The following evening, I was able to catch the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s March 12 Berlioz and Stravinsky program, which was streamed live on March 12, then archived for later streaming. Streamed in decent sound through Vimeo, BPYO’s cameras provided a vantage point as if sitting in a box high above the stage. Despite a halfhour of pre-concert milling around and a live feed that cut out during the crucial trumpet solo in Petrushka, The Berlin Philharmonic’s March 12 concert featuring Berio’s Sinfonia and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra was conducted by Simon Rattle in empty Philharmonie, to an all-online audience. it was a more rudimentary but no less inspiring affair. the event. The view was exemplary, with ian exile, who famously spoke no English. As conductor Benjamin Zander pointed sharp camerawork and excellent sound. Its folk-like themes, Rattle explained, exout in his eloquent address, the Symphony Apart from the shot-to-shot segues, you pressed Bartók’s need to “retain a little Hall concert was being performed for the could imagine you were in the best seat in piece of himself when he had no real conbenefit of the young people themselves. the house. The first concert in a now-abantact with the outside world.” “It’s important for you to play these pieces doned Beethoven symphony cycle, the perClose-ups helped the ear untangle the in this space,” he told the players, his back formances were electrifying: crisp, urgent highly complex music, and the sound was to the empty auditorium. “When my faand alert. At the end, the orchestra stood superb. Whether the balance was Rattle’s ther got old and couldn’t go out anymore, in what felt like a moment of silent prayer. doing or the work of engineers, the clarity he would listen to music on the radio, but

With live audience stats on the computer screen, it is possible to see how many people are tuning in to the livestream. I watched the South Carolina Philharmonic’s number of viewers rise to more than 1,000 mid-concert. Global Virtual Stages

The chance to choose between orchestras across the U.S. and ensembles from all over the globe found me tuning in later the same evening to a live Berlin Philharmonic performance at the Berlin Philharmonie, led by Simon Rattle, the ​orchestra’s former chief conductor. Speaking on camera about the “wonderful, if strange evening,” Rattle drew parallels between Berio’s 1968 Sinfonia, composed in a time of social upheaval, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, written in America during a time of social isolation for the Hungar-


Bach Collegium Japan and Music Director Masaaki Suzuki wave to the online audience at the end of their March 15 live-streamed performance of Bach’s St. John Passion. The period-instrument orchestra and choir performed to an empty auditorium at the Kölner Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany.

may well have exceeded the experience of sitting in the hall. With shots meticulously planned, this was state of the art, although the Philharmonie’s empty wraparound seating emphasized the loneliness of the event. “There’s often a small audience for contemporary music, but there’s always

only live music, never a recording. There is something about live music that shines, radiates, and creates a feeling of daring.” Listening Together

For smaller-budget orchestras, one potential upside of livestreams is a larger, more symphony


monic’s number of viewers rise from 90 (five minutes before the concert began) to more than 1,000 mid-concert. With most families staying put at home, it seems likely that those stats were higher, with more viewers watching the same livecast together. Though the catchphrase of the moment is “social distancing,” many live-streamed concerts are in fact quite social: people watching on the same social media platform can chat (or listen to others chat) during the concert, in real time. The comment stream on YouTube The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s March 11 during the South Carolina Philconcert at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans was not open to the public, due to coronavirus concerns. harmonic’s livestream made for fasHowever, the orchestra provided a free livestream of the cinating reading: “Sounds great on performance via its website and on local radio stations. my TV,” wrote more than one viewer. Frequent use of emojis became a little distracting, but the banter was goodwidespread audience. The South Carolina Philharmonic’s March 14 broadcast on both Facebook and YouTube was an excelOnce the coronavirus crisis lent case in point. Music Director Morihas passed, many orchestras hiko Nakahara led a program that included Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 (a work will have learned lessons

We help you concentrate your efforts on the performance, and pay you for it.


about livestreaming with intriguing implications for the future.

Behind-the-scenes tech for the South Carolina Philharmonic’s March 14 concert led by Music Director Morihiko Nakahara at the Koger Center for the Arts, which was broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

that celebrated recovery after a period of illness) and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 with seventeen-year-old Yerin Yang the elegant soloist. Frequent use of the longshot made this feel lonely, and silences between items were especially odd with only the orchestra to applaud the soloist. With live audience stats visible on the computer screen, it was possible to see how many people were tuning in to the livestream. I watched the South Carolina Philharamericanorchestras.org

natured: “Am I the only one feeling strange for talking during the concert?” typed one watcher. “Shhhh!” replied another. Best of all were interstate comments like, “Those of us under quarantine in New York state really appreciate this,” and “I’m watching from Spokane, WA.” Elbow bumps and an awkward moment over delivery of a bouquet during bows raised smiles and online thanks from as far afield as Utah, Massachusetts, and Illinois, with much talk of donations to the South Carolina Philharmonic’s musician relief fund. Heart-warming though these live­ streams were, a few days later it was mostly over as new social distancing rules prevented players coming together at all. Nevertheless, once the coronavirus crisis has passed, many orchestras will have learned a technological lesson with intriguing implications for the future. CLIVE PAGET is a freelance arts writer and critic, and Editor at Large for Australia’s Limelight magazine.


PROGRAM NOTES Informative and entertaining, with accessible discussion of the music itself, as well as lively historical and cultural background information.    

Program book editing and layout Special program book articles Understandable musical analysis Text translation

 24-hour turnaround on rush jobs  Notes for chamber ensembles  Audio examples for web sites See samples at:

www.wordprosmusic.com Elizabeth A. Kahn, Ph.D. Joseph S. Kahn, Ph.D. phone: 919 851-2410 wordpros@mindspring.com

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Can You Hear Her Now?

This August will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote—and orchestras are responding with commissions of music by women composers this season and next. A century after the passage of the Amendment, the topic is more timely than ever. Suffragists in Chicago protest President Woodrow Wilson’s opposition to women’s suffrage, October 1916, with police on horseback and on foot far right.

by Nancy Malitz


hen composer Julia Wolfe and theater director Anne Kauffman began casting around for a project rooted in the unsung voices of American history, they had just completed Fire in my mouth, their 2019 oratorio about the disastrous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911. It killed more than a hundred young immigrant garment workers, some as young as fourteen, most of them women who had been locked inside. Presented with vocal soloists, chorus, historical images, and film footage, Fire in my mouth

had been a tremendous success at the New York Philharmonic in 2019; plans are underway for the work to be performed at Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley; the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign, and the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. So, wondered Wolfe and Kauffman, what next? The centennial of the 19th Amendment came up. “Anne came to me with the idea,” says Wolfe. “She knew this anniver-

*Note: Due to public-health precautions instituted during the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, some performances mentioned in this article may have been canceled or postponed by the time this article is published.




A march by 10,000 women in New York City on May 4, 1912 provoked a dyspeptic editorial in the New York Times the next day, warning that if they got the right to vote, women would “play havoc with it for themselves and society, if the men are not firm and wise enough and, it may as well be said, masculine enough to prevent them.… We have said that the ballot will secure to woman no right that she needs and does not now possess.”

sary year was coming.” The two tossed the idea around. Wolfe says one of them asked which state’s “yes” vote put the count over the top, making it possible for the Amendment to pass. And there it was: Tennessee. The ratification process required 36 states, and, says Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero, “We were the 36th state to ratify, on August 18, 1920—the state that made it over the line.” With audible delight, Guerrero says that the September 2020 world premiere of Wolfe’s new oratorio, Her Story, will be “the opening of our season, not with your usual Beethoven or Brahms, but a big splash with a living composer celebrating

Stephanie Berger

from Connecticut in September 1920 to Mississippi in March 1984. Despite this year’s anniversary celebrations of the 19th Amendment, it must be noted that the law did not include all American women. In 1920, “While middle-class white women celebrated with ticker tape parades, black women in the former Confederacy were being defrauded by voting registrars or were driven away from registration offices

under threat of violence,” Brent Staples wrote in a February 2, 2019 New York Times editorial. “Confetti was still rustling in the streets when black women across the South learned that the segregationist electoral systems would override the promise of voting rights by obstructing their attempts to register.” Orchestras across the country, large and small, are already loudly involved in a centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, which in 1920 gave women the right to vote, by offering an abundance of new music from female composers and otherwise drawing attention to the constitutional remedy. Apart from Her Story—a five-orchestra co-commission that will be performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony in 2020 and 2021— perhaps the most prominent initiative is the New York Philharmonic’s Project 19, which features a whopping nineteen commissions from women composers. Project 19 also includes a huge array of events ranging from voter registration tables at performances and co-commissions of new works by women poets to a composer mentorship program for girls in the orchestra’s Very Young Composers program. The nineteen commissions are being pre-

one of the most important milestones in American history, with a direct connection to Tennessee. It’s the perfect piece for the historical moment, within only weeks of the actual 100th anniversary.” The 19th Amendment was officially adopted into law on August 26. Twelve additional states eventually also signed on, americanorchestras.org

Chris Lee

Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s opera The Mother of Us All, about women’s voting rights activist Susan B. Anthony, was performed in February at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with soprano Felicia Moore in the title role (above), and a chamber ensemble from the Juilliard School conducted by Daniela Candillari. The Mother of Us All was part of the New York Philharmonic’s Project 19 initiative drawing attention to the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Pictured: Eleven of the nineteen composers whose works will be given world premieres as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Project 19 commissioning initiative, with New York Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda (far right in photo). From left: Jessie Montgomery, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Joan Tower, Angélica Negrón, Joan La Barbara, Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Tania León, Ellen Reid, Caroline Mallonee, and Paola Prestini.


Fighting for Equality, Then and Now

While there are many commissions planned this season and next, several smaller ensembles have put together thoughtful,

The New York Philharmonic gave the world premiere of Tania León’s Stride in February 2020, led by Music Director Jaap Van Zweden. Stride is part of the New York Philharmonic’s Project 19 initiative, and León says the composition was inspired by her grandmother and voting-rights activist Susan B. Anthony.


Composer Julia Wolfe

“It took a lot of time to get that vote, but there is more to be talked about,” says Julia Wolfe, whose Her Story will be premiered by the Nashville Symphony in September. “Women had no rights. It was shocking, really.”

Chris Lee

miered during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. And there’s much, much more throughout the U.S. (see sidebar). At the Nashville Symphony in September, the premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Her Story will feature the orchestra plus Boston’s allfemale Lorelei Ensemble, known for its diverse set of vocal skills, and the production will travel to five co-commissioning orchestras. Guerrero will conduct at three including Nashville, the San Francisco Symphony in November, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in spring 2021. Marin Alsop will conduct Her Story at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in February

2021, and the National Symphony Orchestra will take it up, under Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, in March 2021. The project is to be recorded by Naxos, which has its U.S. headquarters in Nashville. Klaus Heymann, Naxos’s founder, visits Nashville regularly from his home in Hong Kong, Guerrero says. “We always have dinner when he comes here,” says Guerrero, “and when I told him about this idea, he said, ‘You know what? Go for it.’” Wolfe envisions props, some unusual placements for the singers, simple costumes, maybe projected scenic elements: “Like my other pieces, the main label that has stuck is ‘oratorio,’ but they’re really a little more like operas,” she says. “It’s a tricky thing, because you can’t go wild with staging, and the musicians have their own needs, and the orchestra has only so much time. I like that the musicians are onstage as part of the story, though. I really love the physicality. We were lucky that the New York Philharmonic was so terrific to work with. And in Nashville they are really game.”

Peter Serling

Composer Ethel Smyth, a British suffragist, wrote works including the operas Der Wald (1903), which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1903, and The Wreckers, first performed in Leipzig in 1906. Her song “The March of the Women“ became the anthem of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.K. and elsewhere.

programming that gives historical perspective and fosters community engagement. Akron Symphony Orchestra Development Manager Kimia Ghaderi, also a violinist in the ensemble, notes that her orchestra has “said yes to women’s voices” with a seasonlong project called “Stand By Her” that includes seven works spread across four programs, by contemporary composers such as Gabriela Lena Frank (Coquetos), Joan Tower (Made in America), and Anna Clyne (Masquerade) as well as iconic older works such as The Wreckers Overture by Ethel Smyth, who was a British suffragette herself. About that term “suffragette”: it refers to members of the British Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a womenonly movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience. In 1906, a Daily Mail reporter coined the term “suffragette” for the WSPU, from suffragist, to belittle the women advocating women's suffrage. The militants embraced the new name, even adopting it for use as the title of the newspaper published by the WSPU. “Our current season under our music director, Christopher Wilkins, is aligned with the 19th Amendment, but our program next year is also designed to achieve symphony



fellow campaigners faced as the suffrage movement took hold. The same year that Smyth was imprisoned in London for three weeks because of her agitating, a march by 10,000 women up Fifth Avenue on May 4, 1912 provoked a dyspeptic editorial in the New York Times the next day, warning that if they got the right, women would “play havoc with it for themselves and society, if the men are not firm and wise enough and, it may as well be said, masculine enough to prevent them.… Granted the suffrage, they would demand all that the right implies. It is not possible to think of women as soldiers and sailors, police patrolmen, or firemen, although voters ought to fight if need be, but they would serve on juries and elect themselves if they could to executive offices and Judgeships…. We have said that the ballot will secure to woman no right that she needs and does not now possess.”

Tony Matula

greater diversity and engagement generally,” Ghaderi says. Among activities the orchestra is offering are post-concert talkback sessions led by Ghaderi, a writing contest for high schoolers with a $500 prize for the best essay about an influential woman composer, and actors mingling with concertgoers in Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall lobby, including one who will portray a suffragette for a May 16 performance of music by Anna Clyne, Florence Price, Brooke Jee-in Newmaster, and others. Ghaderi was surprised by the overture to Smyth’s 1906 opera The Wreckers, which the Akron Symphony performed in October. “It’s a really charming piece to perform. I was impressed not only with the quality, but also that not a single musician in the orchestra had ever come across it,” Ghaderi says. Indeed, Smyth’s music is due for renewed attention. The Wreckers, written in the first decade of the 20th century, was premiered in Leipzig in 1906; while in Europe Smyth met Clara Schumann, Dvořák, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms. Her opera Der Wald was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1903—the last opera composed by a woman at that company until Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin in 2016. The most famous comment about Smyth comes from conductor Thomas Beecham, who visited the composer in 1912 while she was jailed in London’s Holloway Prison, along with some other suffragettes, for throwing stones at the window of a politician who opposed the women’s vote. Beecham said he came upon the women marching in the quadrangle to a song, and that Smyth was leaning out a jail window, “beating time in almost Bacchic frenzy with a toothbrush.” And although she was lauded late in life, Smyth long struggled to win respect for her music, which suffered from a prejudicial “double bind,” as Canadian musicologist Eugene Gates wrote in 2006: “On the one hand, when she composed powerful, rhythmically vital music, it was said that her work lacked feminine charm; on the other, when she produced delicate melodious compositions, she was accused of not measuring up to the artistic standards of her male colleagues.” Smyth’s work is vigorous and technically solid, and it’s worth being reminded of the fierce resistance she and her

Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero says that the September 2020 world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Her Story will be “the opening of our season, not with your usual Beethoven or Brahms, but a big splash with a living composer celebrating one of the most important milestones in American history, with a direct connection to Tennessee.”

Exploring Identity

Brooklyn-based composer Mary Kou­ youmdjian, 37, is one of the New York Philharmonic’s nineteen commissioned women composers. Her upcoming Project 19 commission will be a chamber work using prepared instruments for a “Sound ON” concert curated by Nadia Sirota in

October 2020. Kouyoumdjian has been exploring the issue of female identity through pieces such as her oratorio Become Who I Am, which was first performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Kronos Quartet in 2015. She recently re-orchestrated the work for California’s Berkeley

In September 2020, the Nashville Symphony will premiere Julia Wolfe’s new oratorio Her Story, about women’s voting rights. Below: Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero leads the orchestra at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.


Standing, left to right: composer Mary Kouyoumdjian, San Francisco Girls Chorus Artistic Director Valérie Sainte-Agathe, and Berkeley Symphony Music Director Joseph Young at the world premiere of the reorchestrated version of Kouyoumdjian’s oratorio Become Who I Am, February 2020. As one of the New York Philharmonic’s nineteen Project 19 composers, Kouyoumdjian will have a work premiered by the orchestra in 2020-21.

Burgundy Visuals

Cincinnati: All Around the Town

“When I think about the centennial, on the one hand it is really amazing to see how far women have gotten,” says composer Mary Kouyoumdjian. “I love seeing all this voter registration. But there are also many steps backward.”


significantly better. In film and TV, it is not even a hill.” Even as Kouyoumdjian duly noted her thrill over what had just happened at this year’s Oscars, when Hildur Guonadottir became the first woman since 1998 to win best score, for her Joker score, she acknowledged the tough reality: “It’s just a brick wall.”

Akron Symphony Orchestra Development Manager Kimia Ghaderi, also a violinist in the ensemble, says the orchestra has “said yes to women’s voices” with a season-long project called “Stand By Her” that includes seven works by women composers spread across four programs.

Dale Dong

Symphony and the San Francisco Girls Chorus, which performed it in February. The inspiration came from Kouyoumdjian’s impressions in dealing with student singers. “In getting to know them, I realized it’s such a tricky time in anyone’s life,” she says. “It was so clear that some of the things they felt were amazing, but other things made them feel really insecure. So we had a lot of conversations about when do you feel at your most confident and assured, and do you feel a connection with your gender in terms of the way you are treated, or coached, or in what you see in the classroom. The students offered solutions that were sometimes optimistic and wonderful, but also sometimes extremely problematic, like, ‘Be more like a man.’ “When I think about the centennial,” Kouyoumdjian continues, “on the one hand it is really amazing to see how far women have gotten. I love seeing all this voter registration. But there are also many steps backward. I don’t feel comfortable [with] where things now are. All of us are still shouting to be heard. At least women today are not afraid to shout. The previous generation before me stayed kind of quiet. But now women composers, for example, are calling out the imbalance. I actually did not start out in concert composition. I started in film and TV, and that was a medium in which I did not feel I had a voice. In concert music there is gender imbalance and an uphill battle, although it is getting

Cincinnati, Ohio is the site of an ambitious 19th Amendment initiative now underway, called “Power of Her.” The project was initiated by ArtsWave, an annual, city-wide fund-raising campaign for the arts, which made “Power of Her” its 2020 theme. Kathy DeBrosse, ArtsWave’s vice president of marketing and engagement, says the idea began to percolate several years ago when “we realized that we had 35 arts organizations in the city that were either founded or led by women.” Patricia K. Beggs, then general director of Cincinnati Opera (she has since retired), approached ArtsWave with the idea of arts groups coming together and making the centennial of women’s suffrage a much bigger and more collaborative project. “Patty said, ‘Let’s change the

Kimia Ghaderi



focus from fine arts to arts of any type, because the arts are what fuels the vibrancy and connections that the community has,’”

DeBrosse recalls. “And also, ‘What if we made this centennial of suffrage to include other kinds of female-centric works, and

what if we included organizations founded by women, or led by women, or both, in terms of broadening?’ Cincinnati is sort of a big small town, where arts groups collaborate often anyway.” Among the projects ArtsWave came up with was a very broad buy-one, get-onefree (BOGO) pass. “For donating at the $75 level, you get a year-long subscription for BOGO offers from the many

Music to Vote For

New York’s Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: two weekends of 19th Amendment-themed music, including world premiere of Gemma Peacocke’s All on Fire by; Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s opera The Mother of Us All, about voting-rights activist Susan B. Anthony, a Rochester native; and True and Devoted, a documentary-style play by Mark Mobley featuring re-enacted interviews with five Rochester women. The Juilliard School’s “Trailblazers: Pioneering Women Composers of the 20th Century,” six free concerts featuring 32 women composers, for its annual Focus festival of new music, co-curated by Odaline de la Martinez and Joel Sachs. This summer’s Ravinia Festival will feature Paola Prestini’s Piano Concerto, a Ravinia co-commission; Florence Price’s Piano Concerto; and Richard Einhorn’s oratorio Voices of Light, inspired by Theodore Dryer’s silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc, which will be screened live during the performance. New York City’s Park Avenue Armory and the National Black Theatre’s “100 Years | 100 Women,” which together with nine additional New York City-based cultural institutions, includes commissions of works created in response to the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, to be performed in May 2020. The commissioning institutions are Apollo Theater; the Juilliard School; La MaMa Experimental Theatre Company; the Laundromat Project; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of the Moving Image; National Sawdust; New York University; and Urban Bush Women. The National Symphony Orchestra’s free concert at Howard University, with music by Clara Schumann, Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729), Florence Price, Gabriela Lena Frank, Caroline Shaw, Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), Jennifer Higdon, and John Tower. Kentucky’s Lexington Philharmonic is beginning each 2019-20 program with a composition by a woman; composers include Libby Larsen, Julia Perry (1924-1979), Jessie Montgomery, Missy Mazzoli, and Loren Loiacono. The Philadelphia Orchestra is highlighting music by women composers all season with premieres by composer in residence Gabriela Lena Frank, Valerie Coleman, and others; the orchestra also is a partner of Vision 2020’s “Women 100: A National Celebration of American Women” equality initiative headquartered at Drexel University. The Albany Symphony’s 2019 “Sing Out! New York” festival in May-June 2019 had a double focus: the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall gay-rights uprising, with featured composers including Clarice Assad, Viet Cuong, Loren Loiacono, Andre Myers, and Rachel Peters. Vermont’s Manchester Music Festival this summer will perform music by women composers including Melanie Bonis, Rebecca Clarke, Lili Boulanger, and Amy Beach. Victoria Bond’s 2001 opera Mrs. President—about real-life candidate Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president in 1872, before women had the right to vote—will be performed on April 27 at New York City’s Symphony Space to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The Boulanger Initiative in Washington, D.C., which presents chamber concerts of music by women, launched a section of its website entitled “19,” a project “to bring together like-minded organizations showcasing performances and exhibitions by women-identifying composers and artists surrounding the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.” The theme of Florida’s Sarasota Festival this May and June will be the 19th Amendment, with composers to include eleventh-century composer Hildgard von Bingen, plus Joan Tower, Caroline Shaw, Natalie Joachim, and Maya Miro Johnson.


Quique Cabanillas

Many orchestras are marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage with programs and other activities this season and next. A partial list is included below; please note that several events may be rescheduled due to postponements made in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Composer Angélica Negrón

Puerto Rico-born composer Angélica Negrón, now based in Brooklyn, New York, is serving as composer in residence at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2020-21. “There are these layers because of our complex relationship with the U.S.,” she says. Because she lives on the mainland, she can vote in the national elections, but that is not the case for the 3.2 million Puerto Rican Americans on the island. groups participating in the Power of Her,” DeBrosse says. “The creativity comes in the way the various arts groups may take advantage. Our role would be to convene the efforts and help to brand and publicize them, but it would be up to the folks at the various organizations, whether they were the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati or the Cincinnati Symphony or an arts gallery, to do the heavy lifting of lacing the Power of Her concept into their seasons.” More than 70 organizations are participating in the branding initiative. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is linking its 19th Amendment-themed 2020 events to the Power of Her cam-


In Cincinnati, ArtsWave has an ambitious 19th Amendment initiative now underway, called “Power of Her” involving multiple arts groups. Kathy DeBrosse, ArtsWave’s vice president of marketing and engagement, says the idea began to percolate several years ago when “we realized that we had 35 arts organizations in the city that were either founded or led by women.”

cently that are compelling and interesting, composed by people I would want to have coffee with. But it is also important how we talk about them, how we present them. We need to present these works not only with prominence, but also with pride, and to communicate in everything we do that this is important and exciting.”

Michael DiVito

paign. Nathan Bachhuber, director of artistic planning and administration at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati May Festival, says the orchestra’s 125th anniversary this year puts an “intentional focus on work by women composers and conductors.” The 2020 May Festival will include Jessie Montgomery’s I Have Something to Say, a cocommission with the Cathedral Choral Society in Washington, D.C. The work draws on speeches given by American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth and climate-change ac-

Kathy DeBrosse

In January, the Juilliard School spotlighted thirty-two women composers during its Focus festival, co-curated by conductor Joel Sachs and composer/conductor Odaline de la Martinez. Pictured at a panel discussion during the festival (left to right): composer Thea Musgrave; de la Martinez; Sachs; June Han, daughter of composer Young-ja Lee; and composer Ashley Jackson.

tivist Greta Thunberg. Bachhuber, with long-time experience programming orchestral music, says these days he doesn’t have to “work hard to find these talented women composers. I could easily come up with a list of the pieces I have heard re-


Voting Rights, American Identity

The struggle over voting rights isn’t over, and it’s also one of identity for composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1981 and is currently based in

Brooklyn, New York. Negrón is another of the New York Philharmonic’s nineteen Project 19 composers; the orchestra will premiere her new work at a “Sound ON” concert in February 2021. As a Puerto Rican native living on the mainland, she can vote in the national elections, but that is not the case for the 3.2 million Puerto Rican Americans on the island. They cannot have a role in electing U.S. presidents if they live in Puerto Rico.. (The same wrinkle applies for residents of other U.S. territories such as American Samoa and Guam, in a general presidential election.) “I moved here to go to school 13 years ago and of course I am aware that because more Puerto Ricans are moving here now, especially to Florida, and that they can vote once they do that, it is something that politicians are noticing and it causes some uneasiness,” Negrón says. The complex nature of her American identity is constantly in Negrón’s thoughts. Among her composition teachers were Alfonso Fuentes, in Puerto Rico, and Tania León, in New York, and they have encouraged her to think about who she is and what her music says. “They are both performers and composers who improvise, and that Caribbean influence in their music feels to me like genuinely who they are,” says Negrón. “They are not the kind of composers who think, ‘I am going to throw in some of these rhythms.’ No. This is who they are. And that is me also.” During the 2020-21 season, Negrón is serving as composer in residence at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which will perform the world premiere of her En otra noche, en otro mundo (On Another Night, In Another World) in February 2021. Foremost in Negrón’s thoughts when we spoke was a Los Angeles Philharmonic commission, yet without a title, which Gustavo Dudamel will conduct in November. “For this piece, I will write something that has to do with being a Puerto Rican outside of the island, and the experience of the diaspora,” Negrón said. “Also this kind of over-romanticism and sentimentality tied to the place where we’re from, and how that blends into the experience of what it means to be me. I am lucky that I live in New York and get to travel to Puerto Rico four times a year. But there are these layers because of our complex relationship with the U.S., and symphony


Nate Bachhuber, director of artistic planning and administration at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival, says these days he doesn’t have to “work hard to find talented women composers. But it is also important how we talk about them, how we present them—not only with prominence, but also with pride, and to communicate in everything we do that this is important and exciting.” how do I re-frame that, particularly in thinking about the pieces programmed along with mine,” she said, referring to Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story that Dudamel and the LAPhil will perform on the same program. (Dudamel is also slated to conduct the music in a new film remake of West Side Story that Steven Spielberg is directing.) The movie version of West Side Story “is the reference for a lot of people when it comes to thinking about us,” Negrón said. “So it is a kind of sensitive subject to talk

about. But at the same time, a lot of our people are really proud of that movie— and Rita Moreno as Anita is a goddess. Those are the nuances and layers of complexity that are such an integral part of the Puerto Rican experience as an American. It’s hard to talk about. A lot has to do with me trying to understand things I don’t understand. For me, it will be way easier to do this in music.” Over time, the 19th Amendment has utterly transformed the possibilities for women in the arts as in life, and it is en-

couraging to see so much attention being paid this year to the anniversary. But much hasn’t changed, and the struggle for full equal rights continues. Julia Wolfe, who has been searching for appropriate texts for Her Story, says the work will cover “before, during, and after” the passage of the 19th Amendment. “It took a lot of time to get that vote, but there is more to be talked about,” she says. “Women had no rights. It was shocking, really. Not property rights, inheritance rights, parental rights—husbands had the rights to the children. In fact, the Equal Rights Amendment still hasn’t been passed, so it’s very strange. We have come so far. And so much has changed. But then it hasn’t so much.” NANCY MALITZ is the founding music critic of USA Today, an editor at ClassicalVoiceAmerica. org and publisher of ChicagoOntheAisle.com. She has written about the arts and technology for the New York Times and Opera News, among other publications.

Astral’s reputation as an industry leader in identifying top talent has made it a trusted partner for presenters. The rising stars in our program inspire listeners, while the skills they develop through our mentorship will help you deepen your community impact. Contact Astral to enrich your concert season. 215.735.6999 | astralartists.org | bookings@astralartists.org Photos: Timothy Chooi (Ryan Brandenberg), Chrystal E. Williams (Alex Kruchoski), Henry Kramer (Hugo De Pril)



New Sounds for Summer

Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

The Hollywood Bowl, iconic outdoor home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Presentations at the Bowl range from classics and rock concerts to premieres of new orchestral works.

Summer music festivals often venture beyond beloved blockbusters to explore new music. These range from deepdive events that focus exclusively on new music to festivals that commission, perform, and spotlight contemporary scores in the context of the canon—lending new perspectives to both. by Steven Brown The information about these and other summer music festivals was accurate at press time. However, the global pandemic is causing postponements and cancellations. Check each organization’s website and social media for the most current information.




RR Jones


he Britt Music and Arts Festival in southern Oregon will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday its own way. Yes, Music Director Teddy Abrams will lead a performance of the Ninth Symphony. But that’s only the beginning. Abrams and the festival will leverage the composer’s quarter-millennium to promote the music of today. “We thought about all the Beethoven celebrations going on, and there are so many where all you’re doing is playing more Beethoven,” Abrams says. At this year’s Britt Festival, “the bigger celebration is to have artists coming in americanorchestras.org

Stu Rosner

California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music focuses on the sounds of today. In photo: composer Du Yun consults with Music Director Cristian Macelaru on one of her scores.

Composer Osvaldo Golijov has a long association the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood festival, first as a student, then a teacher, and now as often-programmed composer. In photo: Golijov bows with conductor Robert Spano at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014 performance of his La Pasión según San Marcos.

who fit the model of Beethoven: people who compose and perform and see music as kind of a multiple opportunity to live.” The concert two nights after the Ode to Joy will open with Everything Must Go, a 2018 work by 25-year-old composer Conrad Tao, who then will step onto the festi-

val’s stage—an outdoor pavilion at the foot of a hill—to play the solo part in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. Another program will start with Everything Happens So Much (premiered in 2016) by another pianist-composer, Timo Andres, who will join Abrams and the Britt Festival Or-


Chris Lee

Music Director Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, which features contemporary scores within a broad musical lineup.


Elle Logan

chestra in Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto who may be newcomers to classical music And I’d say that our audiences come to the No. 3. In other concerts, Mason Bates will of any vintage. table ready.” fire off the electronics in his 2018 Art of Each Grant Park concert attracts 8,000 War, and Abrams will conduct The Order to 10,000 people, President and CEO Paul Mixing Classical and Contemporary of Nature, which he co-wrote in 2019 with Winberg says, and “for many of them, When it comes to programming, says indie rocker Jim James of the band My hearing a Beethoven symphony live is a Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Artistic Morning Jacket. new experience. They don’t come with a Director Marc Neikrug, leaders at sumSpurred by Abrams, who is also music bunch of preconceptions. That has always mertime festivals face a choice “between director of Kentucky’s Louisville Symbeen the challenge of new music—getting curating old pieces or, on the other hand, phony, the Britt Festival is one of many people to open their minds and ears to it. seeing classical music as an ongoing, livfestivals across the country that let living composers The bucolic scene at Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival and School, where audiences and students experience and their works enjoy the programming that ranges from the classical to the contemporary. soft summer air. Some, like California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, make this their raison d’être. The Britt Festival and others, such the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Festival and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Hollywood Bowl concerts, include the work of today’s composers within broad musical menus, classical and popular. The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival cultivates an audience that knows music and welcomes the contemporary; the outdoor crowds at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival include concertgoers symphony


Britt Music and Arts Festival

In New Mexico, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival balances newer and older works.

Santa Chamber Music Festival

The Britt Music and Arts Festival in southern Oregon promotes contemporary music within a wide framework. In photo: composer Caroline Shaw in rehearsal with the Britt Festival Orchestra and Music Director Teddy Abrams.

“Hearing any older piece in the context of newer pieces and other pieces from different time periods gives it its own identity and context,” says Marc Neikrug, artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. ing entity.” Neikrug, who is a composer, pianist, and conductor, believes in option No. 2. The works in store for Santa Fe this summer range from J.S. Bach concertos and Beethoven piano trios to world premieres by Augusta Read Thomas, Helen Grime, and others, as well as pieces by such contemporary-music luminaries as the late Toru Takemitsu and Oliver Knussen. Neikrug has led his audiences to his hybrid format slowly, beginning when he took over the festival in 1998. “I always felt that a reasonable audience that would come to concerts in the first place is interested and able to expand americanorchestras.org

Marc Neikrug

their parameters if they’re guided,” he says. So he chose works that led listeners gradually into the world of new music. “For the first couple of years, I programmed shorter pieces—eight minutes in length. I made sure they were rehearsed and played better than anything else, and that they were

pieces I knew would be interesting and attractive to any audience,” Neikrug recalls. Concertgoers warmed to what they heard, and after two decades of closer acquaintance, new works are now “exciting for people, which is how it should be.” Most Santa Fe concerts put new music right alongside older fare that Neikrug finds complementary. He thinks the juxtapositions benefit the familiar works, too. “Hearing any older piece in the context of newer pieces and other pieces from different time periods gives it its own identity and context,” Neikrug says. Other festival leaders put it differently, but their viewpoints harmonize with Neikrug’s. “When somebody has a real voice—an authentic voice—and they’re also interested in making music for people, those are the two criteria I’m interested in,” the Britt Festival’s Abrams says. At the Grant Park Music Festival, “we definitely think about composers who have a style and vocabulary


The Grant Park Music Festival settles into the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park for ten weeks every summer.

that are really about connecting with the audience,” Winberg says. Grant Park took up commissioning in earnest, Winberg says, when it tapped Michael Gandolfi and Sebastian Currier to compose works to celebrate the Grant Park Chorus’s 50th anniversary. Premieres now come every year: This summer will bring a violin concerto by jazz composer and musician Billy Childs and a chorusand-orchestra work by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko—the latter tied to a citywide celebration of Chicago music. The Los Angeles Philharmonic treats new music as one of its top priorities, and “we believe that should go across all of our venues,” says Meghan Martineau, vice president of artistic planning. “We feel very strongly that new music has a place at the Hollywood Bowl, just as it does in Walt Disney Concert Hall.” This summer,

Open-air festivals appeal not only to concertgoers looking for nights out, but to composers. Bowl audiences will hear the orchestra, Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, and violinist Anne Akiko Meyers give the world premiere of a violin concerto by Mexico’s Arturo Márquez, whose Danzón No. 2 is practically his homeland’s second national anthem. Two weeks later, British trumpeter Alison Balsam will take center stage in the U.S. premiere of her countrywoman Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto. “Gustavo is a huge fan of the Hollywood Bowl, and he thinks new music is super-vital to the work he does and we all do,” Martineau says. “I love his approach


Grant Park Music Festival

Grant Park Music Festival

Paul Winberg, president and CEO of Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, says that audiences don’t come with preconceptions about the music they will hear.

to bringing brilliant pieces to a wider audience.” She points to Dudamel’s 2017 pairing of Mozart’s Requiem and John Adams’s Harmonium. “It was a huge hit,” Martineau recalls, serving notice that the Bowl can be an “important venue to introduce major pieces of repertoire to our audience.” Focus on Now

California’s Cabrillo Festival might seem to occupy its own aesthetic world, thanks to the devoted new-music audience it has cultivated over the past 57 years. “I have the freedom to explore everything, from avant-garde to more mainstream,” says conductor Cristian Măcelaru, who has been Cabrillo’s music director since 2017. He looks for works that will “make a connection to the people who will come to the concert.” As a framework, Măcelaru focuses each year’s festival on a theme that looks at the world beyond the concert hall. The Cabrillo programs for 2020 will spotlight composers who use music to describe and influence society. [Note: at press time, the Cabrillo Festival announced the cancellation of its 2020 festival due to the global pandemic.]

At Cabrillo, Iván Enrique Rodríguez’s A Metaphor for Power, a West Coast premiere, depicts the Latinx experience in the United States. Stacy Garrop’s For the Crime of Voting, a world premiere, will commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the vote. Sean Shepherd’s Mass Appeals, another premiere, will celebrate societal moversand-shakers from Robespierre to Abbie Hoffman to Greta Thunberg—through sound, not words, drawing on music from their times. The festival’s social-impact theme will even encompass a salute to Beethoven’s birthday, Măcelaru says, via works by Joan Tower and Pierre Jalbert that allude to his music: “We’re looking at Beethoven as one of the first social activists—an artist using their voice to make social change.” A Sense of Place

Open-air festivals can appeal not only to concertgoers looking for nights out, but to composers seeking stimuli. When Osvaldo Golijov crafted his Azul, a cello-and-harp concerto that was given its world premiere by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2006 at Tanglewood, he thought back to symphony




Britt Music and Arts Festival

attending concerts there in his youth. “The inspiration was my own experience as a student,” Golijov says. “I used to lie down on the grass outside the Koussevitzky Music Shed and look at the sky while the music was going on.” Azul, whose title is the Spanish word for blue, grows from “the idea of the nocturnal sky—the nighttime sky. I think you can hear that in the music,” the composer says. At the Britt Festival in southern Oregon, in 2016 Abrams and festival’s musicians invited listeners to a performance at nearby Crater Lake National Park, a scenic wonder created by a volcanic blast nearly 8,000 years ago. In 2016, the Britt Festival Orchestra, led by Music Director Teddy Abrams, gave the world premiere of Michael The park’s cliffs and deep-blue Gordon’s Natural History at Crater Lake National Park. waters supplied the backdrop for the world premiere of Michael Gordon’s Natural History, which celent way.” If the composer is on hand and performers in a high-pressured but artisebrated the centenary of the National Park comfortable discussing his or her music, tically nurturing environment meant to Service. The work drew on the drumming he adds, so much the better. The Cabrillo support this relatively niche-y thing you and singing of the region’s Klamath Tribe, Festival opens all its rehearsals to the pubdo, which is to write classical music in and extra brasses pealed from the cliffs. “I lic, and “we have many people who come the 21st century,” she says. “I love hearing can’t tell you how magical that was, to be to absolutely everything, from the first my music in any context, old or new, but I on the rim of this massive lake,” Abrams rehearsal to the last concert,” Măcelaru particularly love hearing new works by my says. “It was an authentic and very genuine says. “It’s amazing. Just as we musicians peers, and a place like Aspen is a dreamy work of music. It was transporting. People get more and more out of a work the more setting to get to do that.” were in tears. It was one of the standout we study it, that’s the audience’s response Golijov, a Tanglewood veteran—first as moments of my musical life.” A documenas well.” a student, then as longtime teacher and tary about the work and its premiere, SymComposers also benefit from festivals’ often-programmed composer—says the phony for Nature, has aired on public-teleelectricity. Sarah Kirkland Snider, whose Massachusetts festival “becomes like a vision stations, helping the occasion reach links to the Aspen Music Festival and home in the summer.” When he attended far beyond Oregon. School in Colorado reach back to a sumin 1990 as a student, he recalls, it was the mer as a student there, says she feels a first time performers gave his music their Connecting with Audiences “frisson of excitement as soon as I walk full energy and attention—rather than A work from any period depends on peronto the festival grounds.” She’ll return making him “beg people” to do as he enformers to get its message across, and this summer. As part of a programming visioned. some festivals give musicians free rein to theme called “Uncommon Women of “People are in a different mood,” he says. do whatever they can to connect their auNote,” the festival will feature two of her “It’s such a beautiful place. There’s such diences with the pieces. The Britt Festival works, including a world premiere drawa sense of flexibility and possibility. The strives to create “an environment where ing on the words of prominent suffragists. halls—both Ozawa Hall and the Shed— we share,” Abrams says. “We talk about [Note: at press time, Aspen announced are open to the outdoors. That physical the music we’re playing and why. We exthat its 2020 festival will be delayed and openness translates into a spiritual openplain the theme of the program and what shortened due to the pandemic.] ness and mental openness. I’ve learned so we were imagining in creating it. We talk Snider looks forward not only to that, much there.” about who the living composers are and but to teaching—and to bonding with who the non-living composers are. When other composers taking part in the school STEVEN BROWN, a Houston writer the audiences understand that these comand concerts. “You’re all visitors, you’ve all specializing in classical music and the arts, is the posers are real people who are living and traveled to be there, and you’re sharing in former classical music critic of the Orlando Sentibreathing music, they listen in a differthe excitement of working with incredible nel, Charlotte Observer, and Houston Chronicle.

Pacific Symphony

The Pacific Symphony’s annual SummerFest in California


Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts + Nature Festival – Presented by Walton Arts Center Northwest Arkansas, AR April 28 to May 15 Featuring music, film, visual arts, and innovative collaborative performances and events, Artosphere celebrates ways the arts can connect us to the natural world. Celebrating its tenth-anniversary year, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra features top musicians from around the world who perform symphonic, chamber, and community engagement “pop up”-style performances. Festival Artistic Direction: Corrado Rovaris Festival Conductors: Elisa Citterio, Corrado Rovaris Festival Artists: Kieran Campbell, cello; Gabriel Kovach, horn; Steve Parker, interactive sound sculpture; Maurizio Baglini, piano; Elisa Citterio, violin Featured Groups: Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Dover Quartet, Jayme Stone, Seraph Brass, Third Coast Percussion Orchestra Affiliation: Artosphere Festival Orchestra For Information:

Jason Howell Smith P.O. Box 3547 Fayetteville, AR 72702 (479) 571-2731 jsmith@waltonartscenter.org artospherefestival.org @waltonartscenter




Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Santa Cruz, CA July 27 to August 9 Presenting “music of our time, for our time,” the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music makes Santa Cruz, CA the place to be this summer! The Festival’s 58th season welcomes thirteen resident composers; a stunning roster of soloists; a bevy of premieres; and the award-winning Festival Orchestra led by Cristian Măcelaru. Festival Artistic Direction: Cristian Măcelaru Festival Conductor: Cristian Măcelaru

Festival Artists: Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; Gregory Smith, narrator; Lara Downes, Stewart Goodyear, piano; Benjamin Beilman, violin Composers in Residence: Mason Bates, Dan Caputo, Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Jake Heggie, Pierre Jalbert, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Paola Prestini, Kevin Puts, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Ivan Enrique Rodriguez, Sean Shepherd, Gregory Smith Featured Group: Quartet San Francisco For Information: Ellen Primack Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 426-6966 info@cabrillomusic.org cabrillomusic.org @CabrilloFest


@cabrillofestival Festival Mozaic San Luis Obispo County, CA July 18 to August 1 Festival Mozaic presents chamber and orches-

Information concerning these Summer Music Festivals was accurate at press time. However, the global pandemic may cause postponements and cancellations. Check each organization’s website and social media for the most current information.





tra performances, crossover and contemporary celebrity artists, and educational events in a variety of venues throughout California’s Central Coast wine country. Festival Artistic Direction: Scott Yoo Festival Conductor: Scott Yoo Festival Artists: Brian Stokes Mitchell, Broadway star; Christian McBride, jazz bass; Stewart Goodyear, piano; Sierra Hull, singer-songwriter/ mandolin Featured Groups: Los Angeles Opera Young Artists, Mariachi Divas, San Luis Obispo Master Chorale Orchestra Affiliation: Festival Mozaic Orchestra For Information: David George, General Manager P.O. Box 311 San Luis Obispo County, CA 93406 (805) 781-3009 dave@festivalmozaic.com festivalmozaic.com @festivalmozaic


@festivalmozaic FOOSA Festival/Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy Fresno, CA June 14 to June 28 Internationally acclaimed faculty and pre-professional musicians perform together in this intensive orchestral immersion program. Master classes, daily lessons, recitals, concerto competition, plus a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Festival Artistic Direction: Thomas Loewenheim Festival Conductor: Thomas Loewenheim Festival Artists: Bruce Bransby, Daxun Zhang, bass; Catherine Marchese, bassoon; Sonja Kraus, Thomas Landschoot, Thomas Loewenheim, Jonathan Ruck, cello; Guy Yehuda, clarinet; Mihoko Watanabe, flute; Laura Porter, harp; Lanette Lopez-Compton, horn; Rong-Huey Liu, oboe; Matthew Darling, percussion; Luis Fred, trombone; Wiff Rudd, trumpet; Jaime Amador, Michael Chang, Adriana Linares, viola; Ambroise Aubrun, Francisco Cabán, Sharan Leventhal, Katrin Stamatis, Limor Toren-Immerman, violin Featured Groups: FOOSA Philharmonic Orchestra Affiliation: Youth Orchestras of Fresno For Information: Julia Copeland, Executive Director 1586 West Shaw Avenue Fresno, CA 93711 (559) 512-6694 foosmusic@gmail.com foosamusic.org @FOOSAfresno



Mainly Mozart Festival 2020 San Diego, CA June 5 to June 20 The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra is the finest classical orchestra in America. It assembles in June in San Diego and is composed of concertmasters and principal players from the continent’s leading orchestras. Festival Artistic Direction: Michael Francis americanorchestras.org

20 Festivals 20 Festival Conductor: Michael Francis Festival Artists: Maximilian Hornung, cello; Dejan Lazić, piano; Conrad Jones, trumpet; Martin Chalifour, Simone Lamsma, violin Featured Groups: Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra For Information: Gregory Parry 404 Euclid Ave., Suite 221 San Diego, CA (619) 239-0100 gparry@mainlymozart.org mainlymozart.org @mainlymozart

Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute Atherton, CA July 17 to August 8 Since its inception in 2003, Music@Menlo has garnered a reputation as one of the world’s leading chamber music festivals. The eighteenth season, “Haydn Connections,” celebrates the father of the Classical style. Festival Artistic Direction: David Finckel and Wu Han Festival Artists: Edward Nelson, baritone; Scott Pingel, bass; Steven Dibner, Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Dmitri Atapine, Nicholas Canellakis, Estelle Choi, Timothy Eddy, David Finckel, Mihai Marica, Hyeyeon Park, Inbal Segev, cello; Romie de GuiseLanglois, Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet; Ara Guzelimian, Michael Parloff, Encounter leader; Amir Farsi, Sooyun Kim, flute; Mark Almond, Kevin Rivard, horn; Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano; James Austin Smith, Steven Taylor, oboe; Michael Brown, Gilbert Kalish, Mika Sasaki, Wu Han, Shai Wosner, piano; Meigui Zhang, soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Jeremy Berry, Matthew Lipman, Paul Neubauer, Steven Tenenbom, viola; Benjamin Beilman, Aaron Boyd, Jennifer Frautschi, Bella Hristova, Kristin Lee, Ryan Meehan, Jeffrey Myers, Daniel Phillips, Todd Phillips, Arnaud Sussmann, James Thompson, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin Featured Groups: Calidore String Quartet, Orion String Quartet For Information: Claire Graham Music@Menlo, 50 Valparaiso Avenue Atherton, CA 94027 (650) 330-2030 claire@musicatmenlo.org musicatmenlo.org @musicatmenlo



Ojai Music Festival Ojai, California June 11 to June 14 Set in the breathtaking Ojai Valley, the Ojai Music Festival under Music Director Matthias Pintscher explores new repertoire contextualized by older music, reimagined by some of the world’s most compelling artists. From sunrise to sunset, this unparalleled immersive experience illuminates works

by Pierre Boulez, Olga Neuwirth, and Pintscher. Festival Artistic Direction: Chad Smith Festival Conductor: Matthias Pintscher Festival Artists: Lucas Niggli, percussion; Tamara Mumford, soprano; Andrew Staples, tenor; Della Miles, vocalist Featured Groups: Calder Quartet, LA Philharmonic New Music Group Orchestra Affiliation: Ensemble intercontemporain For Information: Gina Gutierrez P.O. Box 185 Ojai, CA 93024 (805) 646-2094 ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org OjaiFestival.org @ojaifestival



Pacific Symphony SummerFest Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, CA July 4 to September 12 With over three decades of presenting great music under the stars, Pacific Symphony returns again this summer to the 8,500-seat open-air Pacific Amphitheatre at the OC Fair and Event Center. Festival Artistic Direction: Carl St.Clair, Music Director Festival Conductor: Carl St.Clair Featured Groups: Pacific Symphony, Remember When Rock Was Young: The Elton John Tribute; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Tchaikovsky Spectacular; Toy Story Live (world premiere) Orchestra Affiliation: Pacific Symphony For Information: John Forsyte 17620 Fitch Irvine, CA 92614 (714) 755-5700 info@PacificSymphony.org PacificSymphony.org @PacificSymphony



The Shell Inaugural Season Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego, CA July 10 to October 1 The Shell’s inaugural summer lineup takes San Diego Symphony’s already beloved presentations to new heights, showcasing our orchestra, Music Director Rafael Payare, and superstars from pop, jazz, Broadway, and more. Festival Conductors: Music Director Rafael Payare, Stuart Chaefetz, Aram Demirjian, Christopher Dragon, Andy Einhorn, Todd Ellison, Rob Fisher, Lawrence Loh, Gemma New, David Newman, Sean O’Loughlin, Steven Reineke, and Ted Sperling. Festival Artists: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 In Concert, Jennifer Hudson, Maxwell, Audra McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, Sergio Mendes, The Princess Bride In Concert, Smokey Robinson, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – In Concert. Featured Groups: Not Our First Goat Rodeo,



featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile with guest Aoife O’Donovan. Orchestra Affiliation: San Diego Symphony For Information: Ticket Office 1245 Seventh Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 235-0804 tickets@sandiegosymphony.org sandiegosymphony.org @sandiegosymphony



20 Festivals 20 Vänskä, Andrew Wan, David Washburn, Paul Watkins, Alisa Weilerstein, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu Featured Groups: Attacca Quartet, Balourdet String Quartet, Calder Quartet, Calidore Quartet, Dover Quartet, FLUX Quartet For Information: Jediah McCourt 7600 Fay Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 459-3724 jmccourt@ljms.org ljms.org/summerfest

Patrick Summers, Scott Terrell, Hugh Wolff Festival Artists: Soloman Howard, bass (voice); Edgar Meyer, bass (string); Nicolas Altstaedt, Jay Campbell, David Finckel, Zlatomir Fung, Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Marina Piccinini, flute; Sharon Isbin, guitar; Andrew Bain, horn; Lauren Decker, Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano; Behzod Abduraimov, Calio Alonso, Andrew Armstrong, Inon Barnatan, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Hung-Kuan Chen, Lise de la Salle, Jeremy Denk, Cipa Dichter, Misha Dichter, Vladimir Feltsman, Andreas Haefliger, Wu Han, Tengku Irfan, Denis Kozhukhin, Paul Lewis, Alexander Malofeev, Anton Nel, John O’Conor, Daniil Trifonov, Joyce Yang, piano; Yelena Dyachek, Renée Fleming, Golda Schultz, soprano; Richard Trey Smagur, tenor; Matthew Lipman, Lawrence Power, viola; Kristóf Baráti, Benjamin Beilman, Sarah Chang, Ray Chen, James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich, Alexi Kenney, Robert McDuffie, Gil Shaham, Arnaud Sussmann, Stephen Waarts, violin Featured Groups: American String Quartet, American Brass Quintet, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Dover String Quartet, Escher String Quartet, members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Kantorei, Pacifica Quartet, Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute, The Zukerman Trio For Information: AMFS Box Office Aspen Music Festival and School 225 Music School Road Aspen, CO 81611 (970) 925-9042 tickets@aspenmusic.org aspenmusicfestival.com @aspenmusic


The Shell, the San Diego Symphony’s new year-round outdoor performance venue in Embarcadero Marina Park South, is set to open this summer.

SummerFest La Jolla, California July 31 to August 21 The acclaimed music festival, presented by La Jolla Music Society, delights San Diego audiences with live performances by internationally celebrated artists. The festival also presents an array of free educational events. Festival Artistic Direction: Leah Rosenthal Festival Conductor: Inon Barnatan Festival Artists: Brad Balliett, Efe Baltacigil, Inon Barnatan, Benjamin Beilman, David Byrd-Marrow, Jay Campbell, Timothy Cobb, Tristan Cook, Aaron Diehl, Dustin Donahue, Liza Ferschtmann, Doug Fitch, Xavier Foley, Gabriela Frank, Clive Greensmith, Augustin Hadelich, Cory Hills, Paul Huang, Nathan Hughes, Jun Iwasaki, Stefan Jackiw, Ori Kam, Catherine Ransom Karoly, Erin Keefe, Alexi Kenney, Rose Lombardo, Mary Lynch, Kelly Markgraf, Anthony Marwood, Anthony McGill, Jennifer Montone, Tamar Muskal, Marc Neikrug, Andrew Norman, Kelley O’Connor, Richard O’Neill, Guadalupe Paz, Roman Rabinovich, Josh Roman, Masumi Per Rostad, Daniel Rozin, David Shifrin, Conrad Tao, Jonathan Vinocour, Osmo






Aspen Music Festival and School Aspen, CO July 2 to August 23 One of the top classical music festivals in the world, the AMFS is noted for both its concert programming and musical training. The 2020 season features more than 400 events. Festival Artistic Direction: Alan Fletcher, AMFS president and CEO; Asadour Santourian, AMFS vice president for artistic administration and artistic advisor; Robert Spano, AMFS music director; Renée Fleming and Patrick Summers, co-artistic directors, Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS Festival Conductors: Christian Arming, James Conlon, Roderick Cox, Johannes Debus, Andy Einhorn, Jane Glover, Lawrence Isaacson, Hannu Lintu, Cristian Măcelaru, Benjamin Manis, Nicholas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot, Tomáš Netopil, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, John Storgårds,

@aspenmusicfest Bravo! Vail Vail, CO June 25 to August 6 This season features the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, plus a world-class chamber series and the new Immersive Experiences series. Festival Artistic Direction: Anne-Marie McDermott Festival Conductors: Stéphane Denève; Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Bramwell Tovey; Jeff Tyzik; Pinchas Zukerman; Jaap van Zweden Festival Artists: Edgar Meyer, bass; Truls Mørk, cello; Behzod Abduraimov, Anne-Marie McDermott, Yekwon Sunwoo, Conrad Tao, Bramwell Tovey, Yuja Wang, piano; Kelli O’Hara, soprano; Gil Shaham, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Pinchas Zukerman, violin Featured Groups: Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Dover Quartet; New York Philharmonic; the Philadelphia Orchestra For Information: Jordan Halter 2271 N. Frontage Rd W, Suite C Vail, CO 81657 (970) 827-5700




jhalter@bravovail.org bravovail.org

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Colorado College Summer Music Festival Colorado Springs, CO June 7 to June 27 CCMSF is a three-week intensive for pre-professional musicians; all attend on full fellowship. Fellows will perform in a concert series (orchestra and chamber), receive private lessons, chamber group coaching, and instruction on relevant topics. Festival Artistic Direction: Susan Grace Festival Conductor: Scott Yoo Festival Artists: Michael Kroth, bassoon; Mark Kosower, Bion Tsang, David Ying, cello; Jon Manasse, Anton Rist, clarinet; Susan Cahill, double bass; Alice Dade, Elizabeth Mann, Julie Thornton, flute; Michael Thornton, horn; Elizabeth Koch-Tiscione, Robert Walters, oboe; Aiyun Huang, Michael Van Wirt, percussion/timpani; Jon Nakamatsu, John Novacek, Orion Weiss, piano; John Rojak, trombone; Kevin Cobb, trumpet; Toby Appel, Virginia Barron (associate director), Phillip Ying, viola; Steven Copes, Ellen dePasquale, Stefan Hersh, Grace Park, Stephen Rose, Robin Scott, Andrew Wan, Scott Yoo, violin For Information: Gina Spiers 14 E. Cache la Poudre St. Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (719) 389-6552 festival@coloradocollege.edu coloradocollege.edu/musicfestival @CCSummerMusic @CCSummerMusic @ccsummermusicfestival

Colorado Music Festival Boulder, CO June 25 to August 1 For six weeks each summer, join music director Peter Oundjian and 100 all-star orchestral musicians from around the world in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Festival Artistic Direction: Peter Oundjian Festival Conductor: Peter Oundjian Festival Artists: Sharon Isbin, guitar; Jisu Jung, marimba; Nareh Arghamanyan, Jeremy Denk, Jan Lisiecki, Christina Naughton, Michelle Naughton, Conrad Tao, Christopher Taylor, piano; Augustin Hadelich, Tessa Lark, Angelo Xiang Yu, violin Featured Groups: Brooklyn Rider, Juilliard String Quartet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, TakĂĄcs Quartet For Information: Elizabeth McGuire Administrative Offices, 200 E. Baseline Rd. Boulder, CO 80026 (303) 665-0599 info@comusic.org coloradomusicfestival.org @COmusicfestival




Music in the Mountains Durango, CO July 11 to August 2 From Classical to Pops and other musical genres, we offer something for everyone! Join us for a three-week music festival in beautiful southwest Colorado featuring musicians of the highest caliber. Festival Artistic Direction: Gregory Hustis Festival Conductor: Guillermo Figueroa Festival Artists: Josh Roman, cello; Richard Kaufman, conductor; Kate Lee, Aviram Reichert, Joyce Yang, piano; Tamaine Gardner, ukulele; Bella Hristova, violin. Featured Groups: Barefoot Movement, Jig Jam, Steve Lippia, Take 3 For Information: Angie Beach 515 E. College Drive Durango, CO 81301 (970) 385-6820 abeach@musicinthemountains.com MusicintheMountains.com National Repertory Orchestra Breckenridge, CO June 7 to August 1 For 60 years, the NRO has been preparing musicians for professional orchestral careers. Musicians will play more repertoire than any other summer music festival! Festival Conductors: NRO Music Director Carl Topilow, Teddy Abrams, Jason Seber, Michael Stern, Joshua Weilerstein, Marcelo Lehninger Featured Groups: Cirque de la Symphonie For Information: Kristin Kall 111 S. Main St., P.O. Box 2336 Breckenridge, CO 80424 (970) 453-5825 audition@nromusic.org NROmusic.org @NROmusic



Amherst Early Music Festival Connecticut College, New London, CT July 5 to July 19 AEMF offers classes for early-music enthusiasts, from amateur to professional. The Festival Concert Series and many other events provide a wealth of choices for participants and guests. Festival Artists: Phoebe Carrai, baroque cello; Na’ama Lion, Gwyn Roberts, baroque flute and recorder; Meg Owens, baroque oboe; Julie Andrijeski, Peter Lekx, Jane Starkman, Beth Wenstrom, baroque violin; Wouter Verschuren, bassoon and Renaissance reeds; Douglas Kirk, cornetto; Heather Miller Lardin, Tracy Mortimore, double bass and violone; Brad Foster, Cecile Laye, Joanna Reiner Wilkinson, English Country dance; Hsuan-Wen Chen, Kathryn Cok, Alissa Duryee, Arthur Haas, Dylan Sauerwald, Jennifer Streeter, Peter Sykes, Alastair Thompson, harpsichord; Kaspar Mainz, Dorothy Olsson, Tanja Skok, historic

dance; Xavier Diaz-Latorre, Jason Priset, lute; Spiff Wiegand, Glen Velez, percussion; Karen Axelrod, piano; Aldo Abreu, Rainer Beckmann, Letitia Berlin, Frances Blaker, Deborah Booth, Saskia Coolen, Heloise Degrugillier, Eric Haas, Sarah Jeffery, Alison Melville, Daphna Mor, Nina Stern, Wendy Powers, Jennifer Streeter, Han Tol, recorder; Karen Cook, Valerie Horst, Patricia Petersen, recorder and early notation; Marilyn Boenau, Alison Gangler, Sally Merriman, Daniel Stillman, Renaissance reeds; Liza Malamut, sackbut; Patricia Ann Neely, Nathan Bontrager, Sarah Cunningham, Lawrence Lipnik, Loren Ludwig, Rosamund Morley, Paolo Pandolfo, Mary Springfels, viol; Shira Kammen, viol and vielle; Audrey Knuth, violin; Benjamin Bagby, Julianne Baird, Michael Barrett, Oliver Camacho, Tracy Cowart, Pamela Dellal, Emily Eagen, Paul Guttry, Danny Johnson, Temmo Korisheli, Drew Minter, Lawrence Rosenwald, Kent Tritle, Nico van der Meel, voice and theater For Information: Marilyn Boenau, Executive Director Connecticut College New London, CT, 06320 (781) 488-3337 info@amherstearlymusic.org amherstearlymusic.org @amherstearlymusic

Talcott Mountain Music Festival Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, Simsbury, CT June 26 to July 24 Celebrate summer at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival! Pack your picnic, relax under the stars, and enjoy the Hartford Symphony under Music Director Carolyn Kuan and Assistant Conductor Adam Boyles! Festival Artistic Direction: Carolyn Kuan Festival Conductor: Carolyn Kuan Orchestra Affiliation: Hartford Symphony Orchestra For Information: Hartford Symphony Orchestra 166 Capitol Avenue Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center Simsbury, CT 06106 (860) 987-5900 info@hartfordsymphony.org hartfordsymphony.org @hartfordsymphony




Sarasota Music Festival Sarasota, FL May 31 to June 20 Sarasota Music Festival is a magical combination of 40 acclaimed faculty artists performing intriguing and dazzling pieces with 60 students from around the world, led by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane. Festival Artistic Direction: Jeffrey Kahane Festival Conductor: Jeffrey Kahane Festival Artists: Caroline Shaw, Joan Tower, composer; Nathalie Joachim, flute Featured Group: Calidore String Quartet Orchestra Affiliation: Sarasota Orchestra



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For Information: RoseAnne McCabe 709 North Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 953-4252 rmccabe@sarasotaorchestra.org sarasotaorchestra.org/festival @SarasotaMusicFestival


Symphony of the Americas Summerfest South Florida July 10 to August 5 Internationally acclaimed musicians and soloists from abroad join principal musicians of Symphony of the Americas for chamber orchestra and ensemble presentations in cultural exchange format throughout five counties of Florida. Orchestra Affiliation: Symphony of the Americas For Information: Renee LaBonte 2300 E. Oakland Park Blvd. # 306 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306 (954) 335-7006 rlabonte@sota.org sota.org @sota.org


Pacific Music Institute Honolulu, Hawaii June 25 to July 19 Hawaii’s premier educational festival, reaching youth across the Pacific Rim and beyond. Faculty from the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute+Festival, and more, provide a deeply immersive experience. Aloha! Festival Artistic Direction: Joseph Stepec (PMI Artistic Director); Ignace “Iggy” Jang (solo and string quartet program); Jake Shimabukuro (ukulele program); Dean Taba (jazz program) Festival Conductors: Joseph Stepec, Richard Scerbo, Robert Ponto, Adam Kehl, Chad Uyehara, Dean Taba Festival Artists: Catherine Chen, Ryan Howe, bassoon; Jennifer Humphreys, Parry Karp, Vicky Wang, cello; Joseph LeBlanc, clarinet; Shawn Conley, double bass; Tim Daniels, English horn; Amanda Blaikie, Sabrina Saiki-Mita, flute; Colton Hironaka, Marie Lickwar, Markus Osterlund, French horn; Curtis Abe, Pete Clagett, Chris DeRose, Mike Drake, Tim Ishii, Tommy James, Stefan Karlsson, Abe Lagrimas Jr., Noel Okimoto, Robert Shinoda, Steve Treseler, jazz; Tim Daniels, Alex Hayashi, Susan Ochi-Onishi, oboe; Chris Cabrera, percussion; David and Lianne Hirano, saxophone; Erich Rieppel, timpani; Toby Oft, trombone; Zach Silberschlag, Bill Williams, trumpet; Colin Belisle, Igor Veligan, viola; GaHyun Cho, Eugene Chukhlov, Ignace Jang, Khullip Jeung, Jisun Kang, Helen Liu, Edith Szendrey, Addison Teng, Chad Uyehara, violin; Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele; additional faculty and teaching fellows from the National Orchestral Institute+Festival and Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. Featured Groups: Faculty and friends from the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Youth Symphony, National Orchestral Institute+Festival,


PMI Summer Jazz Institute at Iolani School; PMI Solo & String Quartet Program, and University Texas-Austin; Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele. Orchestra Affiliation: Hawaii Youth Symphony For Information: PMI General Manager 1110 University Avenue, Suite 200 Honolulu, HI 96826 (808) 941-9706 ext. 700 pmi@hiyouthsymphony.org HiYouthSymphony.org/PMI @HiYouthSymphony




SummerFest 2020 McCall, ID July 12 to July 18 McCall Music Society presents SummerFest 2020, a musical tradition since 2012. This week-long festival features classical and pops orchestra presentations, a family concert, and various ensemble performances. Festival Artistic Direction: Eric Garcia Festival Conductor: Eric Garcia Festival Artists: Barbara Morgan, narrator and presenter; Tim Fain, violin;Matthew Tyler, Rachel Tyler, vocalist For Information: Richard Surbeck P.O. Box 558 McCall, ID 83638 surbeckr@gmail.com McCallMusicSociety.org @McCallMusicSociety


Grant Park Music Festival Millennium Park, Chicago June 10 to August 15 The 2020 Grant Park Music Festival spearheads the citywide Year of Chicago Music celebration, shining a spotlight on the city’s extraordinary legacy of local and international arts. Festival Artistic Direction: Carlos Kalmar, artistic director and principal conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director Festival Conductor: Carlos Kalmar Festival Artists: Alban Gerhart, cello; David Chan, Charles Floyd, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Norman Huynh, Lawrence Loh, Nicole Paiement, Markus Stenz, conductor; Nicole Rose Richardson, narrator; Janice Carissa, Andreas Haeflinger, Simon Trpčeski, piano; Simone Lamsma, Rachel Barton Pine, Christian Tetzlaff, violin; Bronson Norris Murphy, Madison Claire Parks, vocals Featured Groups: Anima - Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus; The Percussion Collective; Polonia Ensemble ;Soul Children of Chicago; Tango 21; Dance Theater; Tempest Trio Orchestra Affiliation: Grant Park Orchestra For Information: Jill Hurwitz 205 E. Randolph

Millennium Park Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 742-7638 jill.hurwitz@gpmf.org grantparkmusicfestival.com



@grantparkmusicfestival Ravinia Festival Highland Park, IL June 12 to September 13 America’s oldest music festival, Ravinia presents more than 100 events from June through September, including the annual summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Marin Alsop has just been named chief conductor and curator. Festival Artistic Direction: Welz Kauffman Festival Conductors: Teddy Abrams, Marin Alsop, Edo de Waart, Christoph Eschenbach, Louis Langrée, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Stern Festival Artists: Matthias Goerne, baritone; Steven Isserlis, cello; Stathis Karapanos, flute; Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano; Jeremy Denk, Lara Downes, Garrick Ohlsson, Jorge Federico Osorio, Daniil Trifonov, Lukas Vondracek, piano; Joshua Bell, William Hagen, Midori, Itzhak Perlman, violin; Cynthia Erivo, vocalist Featured Groups: Apollo’s Fire, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Lincoln Trio, Pacifica Quartet Orchestra Affiliation: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (summer home since 1936) For Information: Nick Pullia 418 Sheridan Road Highland Park, IL, 60035 (847) 266-5100 npullia@ravinia.org ravinia.org @raviniafestival Please see our ad on page XX


Bar Harbor Music Festival Bar Harbor, Maine June 28 to July 26 Acclaimed by Phi Beta Baton as “one of the nation’s proving grounds for gifted young artists,” the Bar Harbor Music Festival, founded by violinist Francis Fortier in 1967, has gained national recognition for advancing the careers of over 2,300 aspiring instrumentalists, singers, and composers for 54 years in the spectacular setting of Bar Harbor, Maine. Festival Artistic Direction: Francis Fortier Festival Conductors: Jeffrey Ellenberger, Cara Chowning Festival Artists: Jimmy Mazzy, banjo; Joshua Jeremiah, bass; Jennifer DeVore, cello; John Clark, clarinet/saxophone; Allison Kiger, flute; Oren Fader, guitar; Jessica Bowers, mezzo-soprano; Cara Chowning, Deborah Fortier, Christopher Johnson, Antonio Galera-López, piano; Suzanne Burgess, April Martin, soprano; Joey DeSota, stage director; Stephen Carroll, tenor; Christopher Souza, viola; Janey Choi, Jeffrey Ellenberger, violin Featured Groups: Acadia Chamber Players, Bar Harbor Music Festival Opera Theater, Bowers-





Monteux School and Music Festival Hancock, ME June 15 to July 26 The Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival, founded as a conducting school in 1943 by renowned conductor Pierre Monteux, aspires to be the finest summer training program and festival of its kind. We provide an intensive, supportive environment based on Monteux’s belief that conductors should play in the orchestra while observing the lessons of their colleagues, thus learning from both sides of the podium. We actively recruit exceptional students through enduring relationships with a global network of distinguished conservatories, universities, and alumni. Our goals are to reward the demonstrated talent, commitment, and promise of our students by steadily increasing scholarship support, and to serve our local communities by offering a series of symphonic, chamber, and children’s concerts each summer. Festival Artistic Direction: Michael Jinbo Festival Conductor: Michael Jinbo Festival Artists: Brant Taylor, cello; Jennifer Gunn, flute/piccolo; Howard T. Howard, horn; Steve Lange, trombone; Nathan Cole, violin For Information: Marc Thayer Box 457 Hancock, ME 04640 (207) 812-6260 pierremonteuxschool@gmail.com monteuxschool.org @monteuxschool



Boston Landmarks Orchestra Hatch Memorial Shell, Charles River Esplanade Boston, MA July 15 to August 26 Free orchestral concerts at the iconic Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. Programs include familiar classics, commissioned works, and performances with community partners. Also presenting guest ensembles. Festival Conductor: Christopher Wilkins Featured Groups: Boston Landmarks Orchestra Orchestra Affiliation: Boston Landmarks Orchestra For Information: Arthur Rishi 545 Concord Avenue, Suite #318 Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 987-2000 ar@landmarksorchestra.org landmarksorchestra.org americanorchestras.org

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Baroque on Beaver Beaver Island, MI July 24 to August 1 A ten-day festival of classical music in its nineteenth consecutive season, which features chamber, orchestral, and choral performances of both the standard repertoire and newly commissioned works. Recent premieres include works of Stacy Garrop, Mara Gibson, and Elena Ruehr. Festival Artistic Direction: Robert Nordling Festival Conductor: Robert Nordling Festival Artists: Kevin Cole, piano; Martha Guth, soprano Featured Groups: Bach + Beethoven Experience; Metallurgy Brass Quintet For Information: Matthew Thomas Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association / Baroque on Beaver P.O. Box 326, Beaver Island, MI 49782 (989) 859-8893 msthomas@baroqueonbeaver.org baroqueonbeaver.org @baroqueonbeaver

Director, Rhode Island Philharmonic; Director of Orchestras, Rice University), Christian Reif (Resident Conductor, San Francisco Symphony; Music Director, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra) Featured Group: World Youth Symphony Orchestra Orchestra Affiliation: Interlochen Arts Camp For Information: Brent Wrobel, Director, Interlochen Presents 4000 S. M-137 Interlochen, MI 49643 (231) 276-7200 brent.wrobel@interlochen.org Interlochen.org @interlochencenterforthearts @InterlochenArts @interlochenarts


Tippet Rise Art Center Fishtail, MT June 10 to August 29 Tippet Rise Art Center’s fifth anniversary season will offer seven weeks of classical music performances—indoors and out—by an impressive roster of artists. Festival Artistic Direction: Pedja Mužijević, artistic advisor Festival Artists: Tyler Duncan, baritone; Edward Arron, Gabriel Cabezas, Oliver Herbert, Arlen Hlusko, Inbal Segev, cello; Claire Chase, flute; Yulianna Avdeeva, Zoltán Fejérvári, Boris Giltburg, Richard Goode, Marc-André Hamelin, Dasol Kim,

World Youth Symphony Orchestra Interlochen, MI June 27 to August 9 The flagship ensemble of Interlochen Arts Camp features internationally acclaimed guest conductors leading the world’s finest youth musicians in six performances of classical favorites, modern masterpieces, and world premieres. Festival Artistic Direction: Cristian Măcelaru (Music Director Designate, Orchestre National de France; Chief Conductor, WDR Sinfonieorchester; Music Director and Conductor Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music) Festival Conductors: JoAnn Classical music at Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana Falletta (Principal Conductor, Ulster Orchestra; Music Director, Buffalo PhilharValentina Lisitsa, Anne-Marie McDermott, Pedja monic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony OrchesMužijević, Roman Rabinovich, Yevgeny Sudbin, tra), Cristian Măcelaru (Music Director Designate, piano; Dimitri Murrath, Masumi Per Rostad, viola; Orchestre National de France; Chief Conductor, Benjamin Beilman, Chad Hoopes, Alexi Kenney, WDR Sinfonieorchester; Music Director and Tessa Lark, violin Conductor Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Featured Groups: Rolston String Quartet and Tesla Music), Gemma New (Music Director, Hamilton Quartet Philharmonic Orchestra; Resident Conductor, For Information: St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Music Director, Lindsey Hinmon, Co-Director of Tippet Rise Art St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra; Principal Center Guest Conductor, Dallas Symphony Orchestra), 96 South Grove Creek Road Jung-Ho Pak (Artistic Director and Conductor, Fishtail, MT 59028 Cape Cod Symphony), Larry Rachleff (Music (970) 470-9772 Tippet Rise

Fader Duo, Brass Venture, Wolverine Jazz Band Orchestra Affiliation: Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra For Information: Deborah Fortier, Artistic Administrator 741 West End Avenue, Suite 4-B New York, NY 10025-6222 (212) 222-1026 info@barharbormusicfestival.org barharbormusicfestival.org



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Classical Tahoe Incline Village, North Lake Tahoe, NV July 9 to August 15 Beloved summer festival at Lake Tahoe featuring the Classical Tahoe Orchestra and Maestro Joel Revzen. Six orchestra concerts and three chamber music experiences. Opening night soloist is soprano Nadine Sierra. Festival Artistic Direction: Joel Revzen Festival Conductor: Joel Revzen Festival Artists: Emmanuel Ceysson, harp; David Chan, guest conductor; Nathan Hughes, oboe; Gilles Vonsattel, piano; Nadine Sierra, soprano; Amaryn Olmeda, violin Featured Groups: Brubeck Brothers Quartet For Information: Sarah Wells, Patron Experience Manager 948 Incline Way Incline Village, NV 89451 (775) 298-0245 Sarah@classicaltahoe.org Classicaltahoe.org @classicaltahoe



Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Santa Fe, NM July 19 to August 24 This internationally renowned summer festival, held in a stunning southwestern setting, demonstrates the depth and breadth of the chamber music repertoire through high-level programming and performances. Festival Artistic Direction: Marc Neikrug Festival Artists: Kelly Markgraf, baritone; Liam Burke, bass clarinet; Julia Harguindey, Christopher Millard, bassoon; Timothy Eddy, Alastair Eng, Joseph Johnson, Eric Kim, Peter Stumpf, Peter Wiley, cello; Todd Levy, Ricardo Morales, David Shifrin, conductor; James Gaffigan, clarinet; Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor; Doug Fitch, director/ designer; Leigh Mesh, Mark Tatum, double bass; Bart Feller, Tara Helen O’Connor, flute; Roberto Capocchi, guitar; Grace Browning, harp; Paolo Bordignon, Kathleen McIntosh, harpsichord; Gregory Flint, Julie Landsman, Jennifer Montone, horn; Nicholas Houfek, lighting designer; Sasha Cooke, Michelle DeYoung, Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano; Julia DeRosa, Robert Ingliss, oboe; Gregory Zuber, percussion; Calio Alonso, Michał Biel, Ran Dank, Richard Goode, Benjamin Hochman, Nicolas Namoradze, Juho Pohjonen, Gilles Vonsattel, Pei-Yao Wang, Haochen Zhang, piano; Tony Arnold, soprano; Paul Groves, tenor; Mark Fisher, trombone; Christopher Stingle, trumpet; Choong-Jin Chang, Che-Yen Chen, Margaret Dyer Harris, Paul Neubauer, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Theresa Rudolph, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, viola; Kathleen Brauer, Jennifer Frautschi, L. P.


Tessa Lark, violin; Bryce Pinkham, Scarlett Strallen, vocalist Featured Groups: Apollo’s Fire; Bang on a Can All-Stars; Calidore Quartet; Charles Turner and Uptown Swing; The Classical Theater of Harlem; Danish String Quartet; Decoda; Eliane Elias Trio; Flor De Toloache; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; Kitka; The Knights; Ljova and the Kontraband; On Site Opera; Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Orpheus Chamber Ensemble; PUBLIQuartet; Rachael & Vilray; Sandbox Percussion; Thalea String Quartet For Information: Kathy Schuman 149 Girdle Ridge Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 232-1252 info@caramoor.org caramoor.org

How, Daniel Jordan, Leila Josefowicz, Ida Kavafian, Benny Kim, Camilla Kjøll, Jessica Lee, Amy Oshiro, Daniel Phillips, Movses Pogossian, John Storgårds, Ashley Vandiver, violin Featured Groups: Chien-Kim-Watkins Trio, Dover Quartet, Escher String Quartet, FLUX Quartet, New York Philharmonic String Quartet, Orion String Quartet For Information: Steven Ovitsky P.O. Box 2227 Santa Fe, NM 87504 (505) 983-2075 sovitsky@sfcmf.org SantaFeChamberMusic.com @SFChamberMusic



American Music Festival—Trailblaze Troy, NY May 28 to July 5 An intimate and far-reaching festival of new American music in New York’s Capital Region. Blaze your own trail through historic Downtown Troy and along the Empire State Trail as Grammy Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony fill the air and historic spaces with new sounds. Featuring the premieres of 20 newly penned works and performances by Sandbox Percussion, Clarice Assad, Brasil Guitar Duo, and the Dogs of Desire. Festival Conductor: David Alan Miller Festival Artists: Clarice Assad, vocalist Featured Groups: Albany Symphony; Albany Pro Musica; Brasil Guitar Duo; Dogs of Desire; Sandbox Percussion. Orchestra Affiliation: Albany Symphony For Information: Justin Cook, Marketing Manager 19 Clinton Ave Troy, NY 12207 (518) 694-3300 JustinC@AlbanySymphony.com AlbanySymphony.com/americanmusicfestival @albanysym



Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts Katonah, NY June 20 to August 2 Now in its 75th season, the summer music festival at Caramoor invites you to its 90-acre campus for seven weeks of music, sound art, and stunning gardens. Festival Artistic Direction: Kathy Schuman Festival Conductors: Karina Canellakis, Ludovic Morlot, Eric Jacobsen Festival Artists: Edward Arron, Alexander Hersh, cello; Sharon Isbin, guitar; Inon Barnatan, Benjamin Grosvenor, Conor Hanick, Nico Muhly, piano; Ted Sperling, piano and host; Amaan Ali Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash, Amjad Ali Khan, sarod; Nicholas Cords, Zoe-Martin Doike, viola; Paul Huang, Leonidas Kavakos Pekka Kuusisto




lindsey.himmon@tippetrise.org tippetrise.org

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY

Chautauqua School of Music Chautauqua, NY June 27 to August 17 Every summer, Chautauqua Institution brings the world’s most talented musicians, vocalists, dancers, and visual artists to the grounds for educational and performance opportunities amid our worldclass culture and arts environment. The School of Music at Chautauqua considers orchestral work, private study, and chamber music each to be vital components of the program. Festival Artistic Direction: Timothy Muffitt Festival Conductor: Timothy Muffitt Festival Artists: Jeff Robinson, bassoon; Eric Lindblom, bass trombone; Felix Wang, cello; Kathryn Votapek, chamber music; Eli Eban, Diana Haskell, clarinet; Curtis Burris, Owen Lee, double bass; Richard Sherman, flute; Beth Robinson, harp; William Caballero, Roger Kaza, horn; Jan Eberle, oboe; Michael Burritt, Pedro Fernandez, Brian Kushmaul, percussion; Stu Chafetz, timpani; Scott Hartman, John Marcellus, Chris Wolf, trombone; Micah Wilkinson, trumpet; Don Harry, tuba; Karen Ritscher, viola; Aaron Berofsky, Ilya Kaler, Nurit Pacht, Almita Vamos, violin




For Information: Sarah Malinoski Umberger 1 Ames Ave, Box 1098 Chautauqua, NY 14722 (716) 357-6233 smalinoski@chq.org chq.org/schools



Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer New York, NY June 16 to June 19 The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, return in June 2020 for their 55th season of free concerts in all five New York City boroughs. Festival Conductor: Bramwell Tovey Featured Groups: New York Philharmonic Orchestra Affiliation: New York Philharmonic For Information: Jen Luzzo David Geffen Hall 10 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 10023 (212) 875-5700 luzzoj@nyphil.org https://nyphil.org/parks @nyphilharmonic


@nyphilharmonic French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts Hancock, NY June 7 to September 6 French Woods is an individual-choice performing arts summer camp for children from 7 to 17 years old. We offer programs in theater, dance, music, circus, magic, rock and roll, visual arts, film and video, sports, tennis, fitness, water sports, skate board, horseback riding, and more. Younger campers have more guidance and supervision, while older campers are able to take on some responsibility and have a chance to work in the areas of their interest. Festival Artistic Direction: Brian Worsdale Festival Artists: Larry Livingston, conductor; Harry Watters, trombone; members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and New York Pops For Information: Brian Worsdale 199 Bouchoux Brook Rd. Hancock, NY 13783 (607) 637-8400 brian@frenchwoods.com frenchwoods.com/index.htm @FrenchWoodsFestival


@french_woods_festival Gateways Music Festival Rochester, NY October 13 to October 17 Connecting and supporting professional classical musicians of African descent, Gateways 2020 americanorchestras.org

20 Festivals 20 features three chamber music ensembles in performances throughout the city, a film series, panel discussions, guest artists, and more! Festival Artistic Direction: Lee Koonce Festival Artists: Imani Winds Featured Groups: Gateways Brass Collective, Gateways Chamber Players, and Gateways Strings For Information: Alexis Luque 26 Gibbs Street Rochester, NY 14604 (585) 274-6106 aluque@gatewaysmusicfestival.org gatewaysmusicfestival.org @gatewaysmusicfestival

Lake Placid Sinfonietta Lake Placid, NY July 8 to August 16 Twenty professional musicians and spectacular guest artists comprise this exciting summer chamber orchestra, which has performed in Lake Placid, New York and the surrounding Adirondacks each summer since 1917. Festival Artistic Direction: Stuart Malina, Music Director Festival Conductor: Stuart Malina Festival Artists: Jia Kim, cello; Jeffrey Biegel, Sara Davis Buechner, Navah Perlman, piano; Alexander Kerr, Siwoo Kim, violin Orchestra Affiliation: Lake Placid Sinfonietta For Information: Deborah Fitts, Executive Director P.O. Box 1303 Lake Placid, NY 12946 (518) 523-2051 Info@LakePlacidSinfonietta.org LakePlacidSinfonietta.org @LPSinfonietta




Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival Brevard, North Carolina June 23 to August 9 One of America’s premier summer training programs for exceptional young musicians. Students participate in orchestral studies, piano, opera, composition, jazz, classical guitar, and voice alongside world-renowned guest artists and faculty. Festival Artistic Direction: Keith Lockhart Festival Conductors: Kazem Abdullah, Teddy Abrams, JoAnn Falletta, Craig Kier, Ken Lam, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Keith Lockhart, Kraig Alan Williams Festival Artists: Johannes Moser, cello; Norman Krieger, Garrick Ohlsson, Anna Tsybuleva, piano; Madeline Adkins, Ray Chen, Gil Shaham, violin; Judy Collins, Jane Monheit, vocalist Featured Groups: The Shanghai Quartet, Sitkovetsky Trio For Information: Jason Posnock

349 Andante Lane, P.O. Box 312 Brevard, NC (828) 862-2142 jposnock@brevardmusic.org brevardmusic.org @brevardmusiccenter



Eastern Music Festival Greensboro, North Carolina June 27 to August 1 Celebrating 59 seasons in 2020, Eastern Music Festival is a nationally acclaimed summer classical music festival and educational institution dedicated to focused pre-professional instrumental training, educational enrichment, and astounding performances. Festival Artistic Direction: Gerard Schwarz, music director Festival Conductor: Gerard Schwarz Festival Artists: Neal Cary, Lynn Harrell, Julian Schwarz, cello; Demondrae Thurman, euphonium; Les Roettges, flute; Jason Vieaux, guitar; Awadagin Pratt, Santiago Rodriguez, Alexander Toradze, William Wolfram, piano; Ann Choomack, piccolo; Stefan Jackiw, Jeffrey Multer, Nadja SalernoSonnenberg, violin Orchestra Affiliation: Eastern Festival Orchestra, EMF Chamber Orchestra, Eastern Festival Chamber Players, Eastern Symphony Orchestra, Guilford Symphony Orchestra For Information: Christopher L. Williams, executive director 200 N. Davie St., Suite 303 Greensboro, NC 27401 (336) 333-7450 cwilliams@easternmusicfestival.org easternmusicfestival.org @easternmusicfestival



UNC Health Care Summerfest 2020 Cary, NC May 23 to July 18 The North Carolina Symphony and guest artists perform an eleven-concert series featuring classical and pops favorites in Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre beside Symphony Lake. Festival Conductors: NCS Associate Conductor Wesley Schulz; guest conductors include Aram Demirjian, Randall Fleischer, Christopher James Lees, and Joseph Young Festival Artists: Ran Dank, piano; Tessa Lark, violin; Debbie Gravitte, Hugh Panaro, Anne Runolfsson, Paul Loren, Emily Drennan, Daniel Berryman, vocals Featured Groups: Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers Orchestra Affiliation: North Carolina Symphony For Information: North Carolina Symphony Box Office North Carolina Symphony, 3700 Glenwood Ave, Ste 130 Cary, NC 27612 (919) 733-2750 or (877) 627-6724 tickets@ncsymphony.org



20 Festivals 20





Kent Blossom Music Festival Kent, OH June 28 to August 2 Kent Blossom Music Festival focuses on teaching chamber music, solo and orchestral repertoire with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Miami String Quartet, and various guest artists. Students perform side-by-side with the Cleveland Orchestra. Festival Artistic Direction: Danna Sundet, oboe Festival Conductor: Vinay Parameswaran Festival Artists: Scott Haigh, bass; Barrick Stees, bassoon; Stephen Geber, Keith Robinson, Richard Weiss, cello; Richard Hawkins, Daniel McKelway, Robert Woolfrey, Afendi Yusuf, clarinet; Jonathan Sherwin, contrabassoon; Mary Kay Fink, Jessica Sindell, Joshua Smith, flute; Alan DeMattia, horn; Jeffrey Rathbun, Frank Rosenwein, oboe; Joela Jones, Spencer Myer, piano; Wesley Collins, Stanley Konopka, Scott Lee, Robert Vernon, viola; Katherine Bormann, Ivan Chan, Paul Huang, Benny Kim, Amy Lee, Peter Otto, Cathy Robinson, Stephen Rose, violin Featured Group: Miami String Quartet Orchestra Affiliation: The Cleveland Orchestra For Information: Ricardo Sepulveda 1325 Theatre Drive Kent, Ohio 44242 (330) 672-2613 rsepulv1@kent.edu kent.edu/blossom @KentBlossomMusic



Britt Festival Orchestra Jacksonville, Oregon July 28 to August 16 The Britt Festival Orchestra brings a unique group of musicians together each summer to perform under the leadership of Music Director Teddy Abrams. Our summer festival includes six performances with the full BFO, plus additional events. Festival Artistic Direction: Teddy Abrams Festival Conductor: Teddy Abrams Festival Artists: TBD Featured Groups: Britt Festival Orchestra For Information: Mike Gantenbein 216 W. Main St. Medford, OR 97501 (541) 690-3849 mike.g@brittfest.org brittfest.org @brittfestivals



Chamber Music Northwest’s 50th Anniversary Summer Festival Portland, OR


June 22 to July 26 Celebrating 50 years of outstanding chamber music—and David Shifrin’s 40th anniversary and final season as our artistic director—with chamber music’s greatest performers and exciting young protégé artists. Festival Artistic Direction: David Shifrin Festival Artists: Kelly Markgraf, baritone; Julie Feves, Marissa Olegario, bassoon; Zachary Haas, bass trombone; Dmitri Atapine, Hamilton Cheifetz, Fred Sherry, Paul Watkins, Peter Wiley, cello; David Shifrin, Graeme Steele Johnson, clarinet; Curtis Daily, Edgar Meyer, double bass; Valerie Coleman, Amelia Lukas, Tara Helen O’Connor, Ransom Wilson, flute; Nancy Allen, Hannah Lash, harp; John Cox, William Purvis, horn; Sasha Cooke, Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano; Bhavani Khota, Karen Wagner, Allan Vogel, oboe; Jonathan Greeney, Matt Keown, Jeff Stern, percussion; Robert Blocker, Gloria Chien, Henry Kramer, Hyeyeon Park, Lowell Liebermann, Anne-Marie McDermott, Anna Polonsky, Gilles Vonsattel, Larry Weng, Shai Wosner, Yevgeny Yontov, piano; Fred Child, special host; Andy Akiho, steel pan; Scott Harman, trombone; Allan Dean, Mikio Sasaki, trumpet; Toby Appel, Lawrence Dutton, Paul Neubauer, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Steven Tenenbom, viola; Theodore Arm, Kate Arndt, Eugene Drucker, Cornelia Heard, Bella Hristova, Katie Hyun, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Soovin Kim, Oliver Neubauer, Daniel Phillips, Philip Setzer, Angelo Xiang Yu, Carmit Zori, violin; George Meyer, violin/viola Featured Groups: Dover Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, Flux Quartet, icarus Quartet, Miró Quartet, Opus One Piano Quartet, Orion String Quartet, Polonsky/Shifrin/Wiley Trio, umama womama For Information: Box Office 2300 SW 1st Ave, Suite 103 Portland, OR 97201 (503) 294-6400 tickets@cmnw.org cmnw.org @chambermusicnorthwest



Sunriver Music Festival Sunriver, OR August 9 to August 22 Sunriver Music Festival Orchestra performs at the Historic Great Hall at Sunriver Resort and at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend. The festival’s premier classical, pops, and solo concerts feature many internationally acclaimed performers in seven concerts over two weeks in August. Festival Artistic Direction: George Hanson Festival Conductors: George Hanson Festival Artists: Octavio Moreno, baritone; Sarah Mattox, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Hsu, piano; Steven Moeckel, violin. Featured Groups: Eroica Trio; Central Oregon Mastersingers For Information:

Sherry Parmater, Executive Director P.O. Box 4308 Sunriver, OR 97707 (541) 593-1084 information@sunrivermusic.org sunrivermusic.org @sunrivermusicfestival




Mann Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia, PA May 8 to September 1 The Mann Center for the Performing Arts has served for many decades as Philadelphia’s premier outdoor performing arts summer festival, presenting a wide array of cultural programming and popular events. Festival Artistic Direction: VP of Artistic Planning & Chief Innovation Officer Toby Blumenthal; Artistic Advisor Evans Mirageas Festival Conductors: David Charles Abell, Paolo Bortolameolli, Justin Freer, Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Carolyn Kuan, Erina Yashima Featured Concerts: Comcast NBCUniversal Memorial Salute with Fireworks, Leslie Odom, Jr., Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix in Concert, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Concert, Toy Story in Concert, Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks, Cirque Musica Crescendo: A Symphonic Experience, and Deep Blue Sea. Artists and programs subject to change. Please visit MannCenter.org for our full season lineup. Orchestra Affiliation: The Philadelphia Orchestra; The Philly POPS; Reading Symphony Orchestra For Information: Toby Blumenthal 123 South Broad Street, Suite 815 Philadelphia, PA 19109 tblumenthal@manncenter.org MannCenter.org @themanncenter



Music House International/Philadelphia International Music Festival Bryn Mahr, PA June 17 to July 3 Music House participants work with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra in solo performance, audition preparation, symphony and repertory orchestra rehearsals, chamber music, and mock auditions. Festival Artistic Direction: Kimberly Fisher, principal second violin, The Philadelphia Orchestra Festival Conductor: Kensho Watanabe Festival Artists: Members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, including: Assistant Concertmaster Marc Rovetti; Assistant Principal Second Violin Dara Morales; Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni; Acting Assistant Principal Bass Nathaniel West; Associate Principal Flute Patrick Williams; Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales; Principal Clarinet (LA Phil) Boris Allakhverdyan; Co-Principal Bassoon Mark Gigliotti; Associate Principal Horn Jeffrey




Lang; Co-Principal Trombone Matthew Vaughn; Principal Tuba, retired, Paul Krzywicki; Principal Percussion Chris Deviney; and many others. For Information: Jacob Heil 2954 E. Grant Ave. Williamstown, NJ 08094 (856)875-6816 info@pimf.org MusicHouseInternational.org @musichouseinternational


Concerts in the Garden Fort Worth Botanical Garden, TX June 5 to July 5 A five-week music festival offering seventeen nights of exciting outdoor concerts at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, with fireworks every night! Concerts include 1812 Overture, Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic, Star Wars and Beyond: A Laser Light Spectacular, plus a variety of other programs with something for everyone! Festival Artistic Direction: Becky Tobin For Information: Becky Tobin 330 E. 4th Street, Suite 200 Fort Worth, TX 76102 (817) 665-6500 btobin@fwsymphony.org fwsymphony.org @fwsymphony



20 Festivals 20 @ftworthsymphony


Wintergreen Music Festival Wintergreen, VA July 5 to August 2 Located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the Wintergreen Music Festival inspires, educates, and welcomes audiences, students, and professional musicians through a month-long festival of orchestral, chamber, pops, and bluegrass concerts. Festival Artistic Direction: Erin Freeman, artistic director Festival Conductors: Erin Freeman, Andrew Grams, James Ross, Carl St.Clair Festival Artists: Bleda Elibal, Dee Moses, bass; Aaron Apaza, Tom Fleming, Tariq Masri, Martin Gordon, bassoon; Wesley Baldwin, David Bjella, Sarah Kapps, David Rezits, Sara Sitzer, Nathaniel Yaffe, cello; Joseph Beverly, Charles Messersmith, John Sadak, clarinet; Daron Hagen, Gilda Lyons, Michael White, composers; Alyssa Griggs, Julee Hickcox, Lance Suzuki, flute; Anastasia Jellison, harp; Chandra Cervantes, Barbara Hill, Brandon Nichols, Jacob Wilder, horn; Jaren Atherholt, Aaron Hill, William Parrish, Jessica Warren, oboe; Sean Chen, Kathleen Kelly, Peter Marshall, Edward Newman, piano; Matthew Bassett, timpani; Jay Crone, Casey Jones, Harold Van Schaik, trombone; Susan Messersmith, David Vonderheide, trumpet; Josh Wirt, tuba; Johanna Beaver,

Ann Marie Brink, Steve Larson, Matt Pegis, Eve Tang, viola; Elisabeth Adkins, Betty Chen, Susan Dominguez-Germanson, Gerald Greer, Alison Hall, Jeannette Jang, Susanna Klein, James Lyon, John Meisner, Milene Moreira, Mayumi Masri, Ellen Riccio, Meredith Riley, Daneil Sender, Andrea Schultz, Annie Trepanier, Elena Urioste, Liz Vonderheide, Ross Monroe Winter, violin; Michael Dean, Erin Freeman, Heather Johnson, Arianna Zukerman, voice Featured Groups: Adam McPeak & Mountain Thunder; Blue Highway; Crooked Road on Tour; Elizabeth LaPrelle; Le Hotclub de Biglick; Library of Virginia; Quintango; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Whitetop Mountain Band; Wintergreen Festival Orchestra For Information: Erin Freeman, artistic director P.O. Box 816 Nellysford, VA 22958 434-361-0541 info@wintergreen-music.org wintergreen-music.org @WintergreenMusic @WintergreenArts

@WintergreenMusic Wolf Trap Vienna, VA May 28 to September 18 Wolf Trap’s Filene Center is a 7,028-seat outdoor amphitheater that showcases a diverse array of artists from May to September. It has been the sum-



mer home of the National Symphony Orchestra since it opened in 1971. Festival Conductors: Emil de Cou, Thomas Wilkins Festival Artists: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano; Bomsori Kim, violin Featured Groups: Hong Kong Ballet, National Symphony Orchestra, Wolf Trap Orchestra Orchestra Affiliation: National Symphony Orchestra For Information: Lee Anne Myslewski, Vice President of Opera and Classical Programming 1645 Trap Road Vienna, VA 22182 (703) 255-1900 classicalprogramming@wolftrap.org wolftrap.org

20 Festivals 20





Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Marrowstone Music Festival Bellingham, WA July 26 to August 9 Marrowstone is the largest and most comprehensive summer orchestral training program in the Pacific Northwest. Two hundred musicians study with our internationally acclaimed faculty at the campus of Western Washington University. Festival Artistic Direction: Juan Felipe Molano Festival Conductors: Ryan Dudenbostel, Juan Felipe Molano Festival Artists: Todd Larsen, bass; Francine Peters, bassoon; David Goldblatt, Walter Gray, cello; Kenneth Grant, clarinet; Jill Felber, flute; Catherine Case, harp; Margaret Tung, horn; Roger Cole, oboe; Gunnar Folsom, Matthew Kocmieroski, percussion; Jeffrey Gilliam, piano; Joseph Rodriquez, trombone; Roy Poper, trumpet; Laura KuennenPoper, Roxanna Patterson, viola; Grant Donellan, Leslie Katz, Ron Patterson, Lauren Roth, violin Orchestra Affiliation: Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra For Information: Annie Petersen 11065 Fifth Ave NE, Suite A Seattle, WA 98125 (206) 686-3109 marrowstone@syso.org Marrowstone.org @MarrowstoneMusicFestival

@marrowstone_music_festival Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival Seattle, WA July 6 to August 1 Artistic Director James Ehnes brings together leading musicians from around the world to create unique ensembles to perform a varied repertoire of chamber music. Festival Artistic Direction: James Ehnes Festival Artists: Edward Arron, Ani Aznavoorian, Raphael Bell, Cameron Crozman, Robert deMaine, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Astrid Schween, Ronald Thomas, Bion Tsang, cello; Jean Johnson, Anthony McGill, Osmo Vänskä, clarinet; Jordan Anderson, double bass; Marina Piccinini, flute;


Jeffrey Fair, horn; Mary Lynch, oboe; Andrew Armstrong, Alessio Bax, Boris Giltburg, Andreas Haefliger, Paige Roberts Molloy, Steven Osborne, Jon Kimura Parker, Orion Weiss, Joyce Yang, piano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Jeroen Berwaerts, Jens Lindemann, trumpet; Rebecca Albers, Alyosia Friedmann, Paul Neubauer, Richard O’Neill, Cynthia Phelps, Jonathan Vinocour, viola; Benjamin Beilman, Noah Bendix-Balgley, James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich, Erin Keefe, Alexander Kerr, Tessa Lark, Amy Schwartz Moretti, Simone Porter, Stephen Rose, Andrew Wan, violin Featured Groups: Ehnes Quartet For Information: Connie Cooper 601 Union St., Suite 220 Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 283-8710 info@seattlechambermusic.org seattlechambermusic.org @SeattleChamberMusic




Peninsula Music Festival Door County, WI August 4 to August 22 Peninsula Music Festival, now in its 68th season, is located along the shores of Wisconsin’s famed Door County. Season includes a Symphony Series, Chamber Music Series, solo recitals, and special events. Festival Conductors: David Danzmayr, Ward Stare, Marcelo Lehninger, Yaniv Dinur, Rune Bergmann Festival Artists: Andrew Byun, Oliver Herbert, cello; Susanna Self, flute; Eric Olson, oboe; Sara Bong, Inna Faliks, Stewart Goodyear, Peter Jablonski, Hyejin Joo, Susan Wenckus, Antonio Wu, piano; Ellen Caruso Olson, viola; Yoorhi Choi, Bella Hristova, Rachel Barton Pine, Simone Porter, Angelo Xiang Yu, violin For Information: Peninsula Music Festival 10347 N. Water Street, Suite B

P.O. Box 340 Ephraim, WI 54211 (920) 854-4060 musicfestival@musicfestival.com musicfestival.com @PeninsulaMusicFestival


@The Peninsula Music Festival


Grand Teton Music Festival Jackson Hole, WY July 3 to August 22 Grand Teton Music Festival unites 200 celebrated orchestral musicians from 90 orchestras worldwide. This summer season celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven. Festival Artistic Direction: Donald Runnicles Festival Conductors: Karina Canellakis, James Conlon, Eun Sun Kim, Donald Runnicles Festival Artists: Johannes Moser, cello; Garrick Ohlsson, piano; Midori, Gil Shaham, violin; Bernadette Peters, vocalist Featured Groups: Dover Quartet; St. Lawrence String Quartet; Utah Symphony Chorus For Information: Savannah Gentry 175 South King Street, Suite 200 P.O. Box 9117 Jackson Hole, WY 83002 (307) 733.3050 savannah@gtmf.org gtmf.org @GrandTetonMusicFestival


@grandtetonmusic Information concerning these Summer Music Festivals was accurate at press time. However, the global pandemic may cause postponements and cancellations. Check each organization’s website and social media for the most current information.










6 P M J U N E 12







Re: “Unheard Voices” Cover Story


ne mission of any magazine is to open doors to discussion of vital topics. The cover story of the Winter Issue of Symphony magazine accomplished just that. The cover, which listed nearly 90 Black composers, accompanied a 4,500-word article written by Rosalyn Story that examined the longstanding underrepresentation of Black composers in the orchestral canon; reported on the recent increase in performances of music by Black composers; and asked whether orchestras’ new interest in Black composers signifies a lasting commitment. The article included commentary from five contemporary Black composers as well as three conductors of color, among others, and discussed the works of 32 Black composers. The cover included an error: Composer Samuel Beebe, who does not identify as Black, was included among the composers on the cover. Beebe had been on an initial draft of the list and was removed, but an incorrect version of the list was used on the cover. We apologize for the error. Reactions to the cover and article both online and in discussion were animated and engaged. In conversation, a major concern that emerged from some readers was the framing of the cover and article around the question of whether the field would hold a lasting commitment to Black composers. The League learned that such framing was problematic in that it implied that interest in Black composers is an “option,” placing composers of color in a defensive


Michael Abels H. Leslie Adams Ahmed Alabaca Eleanor Alberga Lettie Alston T. J. Anderson Renée C. Baker William C. Banfield Samuel Beebe Terence Blanchard Edward Bland Courtney Bryan Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges Margaret Bonds Anthony Braxton Harry T. Burleigh Valerie Coleman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Will Marion Cook Anthony Davis Noel DaCosta Robert Nathaniel Dett Charles Dickerson William L. Dawson Julius Eastman Duke Ellington Rachel Eubanks Rhiannon Giddens Anthony R. Green Adolphus Hailstork Jacqueline Hairston Moses Hogan Jonathan Bailey Holland Scott Joplin Ulysses Kay Anthony M. Kelley L. Viola Kinney José Silvestre White Lafitte James Lee III Tania León George E. Lewis Hannibal Lokumbe Wynton Marsalis Quinn Mason Jessie Montgomery Carman Moore Kermit Moore Dorothy Rudd-Moore Jeffrey Mumford WINTER 2020 n $6.95 Gary Powell Nash Brian Raphael Nabors Stephen Newby Nokuthula Ngwenyama Nailah Nombeko Nkeiru Okoye Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Julia A. Perry Zenobia Powell Perry Rosephanye Powell Florence Price Daniel Bernard Roumain Carlos Simon Alvin Singleton Hale Smith Irene Britton Smith Tyshawn Sorey Derrick Spiva Jr. William Grant Still Billy Strayhorn Howard Swanson Shirley J. Thompson Joel Thompson Frederick Tillis George Walker Errollyn Wallen Mary Watkins Trevor Weston Evan Williams Kimo Williams Julius Williams Sharon J. Willis Olly Wilson Michael Woods Michael Abels H. Leslie Adams Ahmed Alabaca Eleanor Alberga Lettie Alston T. J. Anderson Renée THE C. Baker William C. Banfield Beebe Terence Blanchard Edward Bland Courtney MAGAZINE OF THE Samuel LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS Bryan Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges Margaret Bonds Anthony Braxton Harry T. Burleigh Valerie Coleman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Will Marion Cook Anthony Davis Noel DaCosta Robert Nathaniel Dett Charles Dickerson William L. Dawson Julius Eastman Duke Ellington Rachel Eubanks Rhiannon Giddens Anthony R. Green Adolphus Hailstork Jacqueline Hairston Moses Hogan Jonathan Bailey Holland Scott Joplin Ulysses Kay Anthony M. Kelley L. Viola Kinney José Silvestre White Lafitte James Lee III Tania León George E. Lewis Hannibal Lokumbe Wynton Marsalis Quinn Mason Jessie Montgomery Carman Moore Kermit Moore Dorothy Rudd-Moore Jeffrey Mumford Gary Powell Nash Brian Raphael Nabors Stephen Newby Nokuthula Ngwenyama Nailah Nombeko Nkeiru Okoye Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Julia A. Perry Zenobia Powell Perry Rosephanye Powell Florence Price Daniel Bernard Roumain Carlos Simon Alvin Singleton Hale Smith Irene Britton Smith Tyshawn Sorey Derrick Spiva Jr. William Grant Still Billy Strayhorn Howard Swanson Shirley J. Thompson Joel Thompson Frederick Tillis George Walker Errollyn Wallen Mary Watkins Trevor Weston Evan Williams Kimo Williams Julius Williams Sharon J. Willis Olly Wilson Michael Woods Michael Abels H. Leslie Adams Ahmed Alabaca Eleanor Alberga Lettie Alston T. J. Anderson Renée C. Baker William C. Banfield Samuel Beebe Terence Blanchard Edward Bland Courtney Bryan Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges Margaret Bonds Anthony Braxton Harry T. Burleigh Valerie Coleman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Will Marion Cook Anthony Davis Noel DaCosta Robert Nathaniel Dett Charles Dickerson William L. Dawson Julius Eastman Duke Ellington Rachel Eubanks Rhiannon Giddens Anthony R. Green Adolphus Hailstork Jacqueline Hairston Moses Hogan Jonathan Bailey Holland Scott Joplin Ulysses Kay Anthony M. Kelley L. Viola Kinney José Silvestre White Lafitte James Lee III Tania León George E. Lewis Hannibal Lokumbe Wynton Marsalis Quinn Mason Jessie Montgomery Carman Moore Kermit Moore Dorothy Rudd-Moore Jeffrey Mumford Gary Powell Nash Brian Raphael Nabors Stephen Newby Nokuthula Ngwenyama Nailah Nombeko Nkeiru Okoye Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Julia A. Perry Zenobia Powell Perry Rosephanye Powell Florence Price Daniel Bernard Roumain Carlos Simon Alvin Singleton Hale Smith Irene Britton Smith Tyshawn Sorey Derrick Spiva Jr. William Grant Still Billy Strayhorn Howard Swanson Shirley J. Thompson Joel Thompson Frederick Tillis George Walker Errollyn Wallen Mary Watkins Trevor Weston Evan Williams Kimo Williams Julius Williams Sharon J. Willis Olly Wilson Michael Woods Michael Abels H. Leslie Adams Ahmed Alabaca Eleanor Alberga Lettie Alston T. J. Anderson Renée C. Baker William C. Banfield Samuel Beebe Terence Blanchard Edward Bland Courtney Bryan Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges Margaret Bonds Anthony Braxton Harry T. Burleigh Valerie Coleman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Will Marion Cook Anthony Davis Noel DaCosta Robert Nathaniel Dett Charles Dickerson William L. Dawson Julius Eastman Duke Ellington Rachel Eubanks Rhiannon Giddens Anthony R. Green Adolphus Hailstork Jacqueline Hairston Moses Hogan Jonathan Bailey Holland Scott Joplin Ulysses Kay Anthony M. Kelley L. Viola Kinney José Silvestre White Lafitte James Lee III Tania León George E. Lewis Hannibal Lokumbe Wynton Marsalis Quinn Mason Jessie Montgomery Carman Moore Kermit Moore Dorothy Rudd-Moore Jeffrey Mumford Gary Powell Nash Brian Raphael Nabors Stephen Newby Nokuthula Ngwenyama Nailah Nombeko Nkeiru Okoye Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Julia A. Perry Zenobia Powell Perry Rosephanye Powell Florence Price Daniel Bernard Roumain Carlos Simon Alvin Singleton Hale Smith Irene Britton Smith Tyshawn Sorey Derrick Spiva Jr. William Grant Still Billy Strayhorn Howard Swanson Shirley J. Thompson Joel Thompson Frederick Tillis George Walker Errollyn Wallen Mary Watkins Trevor Weston Evan Williams Kimo Williams Julius Williams Sharon J. Willis Olly Wilson Michael Woods Michael Abels H. Leslie Adams Ahmed Alabaca Eleanor Alberga Lettie Alston T. J. Anderson Renée C. Baker William C. Banfield Samuel Beebe Terence Blanchard Edward Bland Courtney Bryan Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de SaintGeorges Margaret Bonds Anthony Braxton Harry T. Burleigh Valerie Coleman Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Will Artists and Marion Emerging Cook Anthony Davis Noel DaCosta Philanthropy Robert Nathaniel Dett CharlesMusic Dickerson William L. Dawson Julius Eastman Dukethe Ellington Adolphus Hailstork Jacqueline Lead Way Rachel Eubanks Rhiannon UpdateGiddens Anthony R. Green Mental Health Hairston Moses Hogan Jonathan Bailey Holland Scott Joplin Ulysses Kay Anthony M. Kelley L. Viola Kinney José Silvestre White Lafitte James Lee III Tania León George E. Lewis Hannibal Lokumbe Wynton Marsalis Quinn Mason Jessie Montgomery Carman Moore Kermit Moore Dorothy Rudd-Moore Jeffrey Mumford Gary Powell Nash Brian Raphael Nabors Stephen Newby Nokuthula Ngwenyama Nailah Nombeko Nkeiru Okoye ColeridgeTaylor Perkinson Julia A. Perry Zenobia Powell Perry Rosephanye Powell Florence Price Daniel Bernard Roumain


position that questions the quality of their work rather than placing the onus of action on the orchestras that are responsible for decisions that have omitted their work. Stakeholders questioned whether the framing served as more of a barrier than a point of inspiration. Concern was expressed about the message that this could send about our industry’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. We also want to acknowledge the 500 people who “liked” the cover image on Facebook, and shared it some 50 times. The League is committed to carefully considering and learning from each of the voices heard and responses it received, as well as to using its role as a convening force to continue important conversations both in the magazine and its other work. The magazine received three letters, which appear with the permission of the authors. Slightly edited for space, the letters appear below. Robert Sandla Editor-in-Chief Symphony

To the Editor: Your article in the last issue of Symphony about Black composers tracks “current upticks in performances” just recently. This culture of exclusion and championing only “certain” figures has such a

Unheard Voices

Black composers’ music is a rarity at American orchestras. Now more of their scores are being heard. Will it last?

long history of exclusion and debasing of other cultural examples of excellence, beauty, and worthiness. My hope is that the magazine will be a vanguard magazine for the promotion of better balances of the importance of wider views of cultural currency. I want to challenge you here with the fact that the exclusion of Black composers and “non recognized composers” is not “new news,” and such regular omission in coverage is unacceptable and out of fashion for today’s cultural relevance. The perception is that this is all about a symphony concert program focus. Most of what the article amounts to is no new sustainable changes in the dial at all, just a few warm “Black composer spots” in selected programs. Still same ole story, same old stuff ! The magazine could do perhaps more to not only devote a nice column hoping “to cover” this topic, but invest in sustainable reporting symphony


and championing these and other closely related issues that help to erase systemic soiled practices in classical art music culture in America. This alone would tip the scale toward raising the issue as normative, not mild topics of interest. My hope is that this is a seed for a series of publishable articles, as a response that addresses your ongoing reporting on the ideas around Black composers and their experiences, expectations, and current expressions as American composers. Let’s have a courageous paradigm shift to challenge the current status quo conservatism that masks a lot of exclusionary practice in the name of “preserving classical music tradition.” That in itself begs the question ...why in American culture, after all that has been created, we can’t embrace our own traditions as American classic culture. Many colleagues called to register their dissatisfaction with the fact that you never asked the people who really, really know this inquiry and the real story, players, and politics around programming, fund raising, critical community efforts, curriculum, as this is not about diversity, it’s about a commitment to cultural transformation and cultural heritages, FULLY! There is no mention of the current scholarship and research, books, recordings, and resources available that are bins and shelves deep. It says nothing about our own rich Black heritages and traditions which are the most American, nor does it tell of the real story that the American concert music scene is uni-directed toward largely only elitist non-color culture interests as normative. This is not a one-time diversity initiative topic, but for your magazine perhaps more on these critical issues as a relevant focus of arts reporting, if it is truly American and to be a real service to our arts culture. William C. Banfield To the Editor: Thanks so much for your attempt to be part of a growing conversation of americanorchestras.org

misrepresentation and underrepresentation of Black composers within the classical music field. Some of my friends pointed out that my name was included in the list of composers on the cover, and some of my other friends (who are extremely accomplished Black composers) expressed their disappointment and confusion about being left out. I personally don’t take such lists to heart; as a composer working mostly with experimental and contemporary idioms, I am not taken very seriously by many more conservative musicians, but simultaneously excluded by the contemporary community because I also work with tonality. It has been difficult navigating this border, but I have finally found a place where I am content, which usually means being excluded from such lists. Therefore, it was surprising for me to be included! As someone who also works tirelessly to find music by Black composers and to discover new Black composers, I was confused about many aspects of this list. My list of Black women composers alone is longer than the total amount of names on your cover, and my list of living Black composers under 40 is also longer than your list. Additionally, for a magazine called Symphony, I was guessing that you would focus on composers of orchestral music. In this vein, I thought perhaps my name was on the list because of my involvement in the ACO Underwood Readings, but Sakari Dixon (who participated in the Buffalo readings in January) was not on the list. Neither is Hannah Kendall (who had a big premiere at the BBC Proms with Chineke, and will have a repeat performance of that work in Seattle, and that work was also just released on CD). Furthermore, I was also perplexed by the inclusion of L. Viola Kinney, whose only surviving work is a solo piano piece, and who was not known to have composed any work for orchestra. Thanks for your efforts! If you ever want to put together another cover with names, I would be MORE than happy

to do some consulting work for your organization. Anthony R. Green To the Editor: First, my congratulations to you and your staff on publishing Rosalyn Story’s in-depth article on African-American composers, which comes at a time when black composers are coming into their own and experiencing a new renaissance with their scores for orchestra, concert band, chorus, and chamber ensemble, not to mention composing for motion pictures and the theater. Yet while your cover does mention a number of phenomenal composers of the past and present, there are several distinguished black composers whose names did not appear on this cover, including this respondent, who has been performed by several prominent orchestras and was the recipient of two major awards. Though my reputation in recent years has been established as a conductor who has been the music director of several orchestras, choruses, and wind bands, my stature as a composer was established long before I took up the baton to perform the music of other composers, including many compositions by African-American composers that are and are not listed on your cover. Suffice it to say, I was disheartened that my name was not included alongside my friends, colleagues and mentors, which implies that either someone on your staff felt I was inconsequential when equated among those composers who are more established in the concert world, or because they felt that my standing in contemporary classical music was established more on the podium than at the piano with pen and pad. It would be gratifying to be recognized and enumerated among my peers, so would it be too much trouble to ask if a follow-up page devoted to the many composers not listed on your front cover be printed in a future issue of Symphony? Thank you for taking the time to read my grievance on this matter. Kevin Scott


Joseph Scheller

In downtown Minneapolis, Peavey Plaza (foreground) was recently reopened after major renovations. The Minnesota Orchestra’s home, Orchestra Hall, sits beside the plaza, which the orchestra helps maintain. The Minnesota Orchestra completed environmental upgrades of the hall that include LED lighting, native landscaping, and a stormwater retention tank.

Eco-Friendly Orchestras At a time when climate change is making headlines, the environment and sustainability practices are growing concerns for the classical music field. How are American orchestras working to address their environmental impact, and what kinds of sustainability efforts are currently going above and beyond the call of duty? by Brian Wise



hen the Minnesota Orchestra introduced a “Bike to Orchestra Hall” program in 2017, a momentary culture clash emerged with the new breed of spandexclad concertgoers. Writing on the transportation blog Streets.mn, St. Paulbased cyclist Amy Gage described the “disapproving glances” from the “upper-crust audience” when she and her husband arrived at a concert in “full cycling regalia.” Yet after some initial awkwardness, Gage gave the experience a favorable report, and for showing her helmet and biking gear at the box office, she received a 50 percent discount for a future concert. Orchestra officials say that about 20 cyclists have participated in the program in recent summers, a small but symbolic effort to get patrons out of their cars. As every year brings alarming new record-high temperatures, a growing number of orchestra professionals acknowledge that the concert business—with its reliance on longdistance jet travel for conductors, plastic-heavy concessions, and energy-inefficient venues—may be aggravating climate change in its own way. And it’s not only concert presenters but composers who have at least considered clisymphony


Garry Gold Photography

Composer Viet Cuong takes a bow following the Albany Symphony’s October 2018 world premiere of his Re(new)al, which explores water, wind, and solar power.


air travel to bring in soloists and conductors, turning instead to train or boat, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, which this winter traveled by train, rather than plane, for its winter tour to Poland and Hungary. The London-based period ensemble claimed that this move cut its carbon dioxide impact by about

Sustainable Concert Halls

One shift to renewables has occurred at Davies Symphony Hall, home to the San Francisco Symphony, which in 2013 installed a 558-panel solar array on its roof, providing about 15 percent of the hall’s electricity needs. This step enabled the

Ethan Leves

mate change as a lens for their work. John Luther Adams was an environmental activist for more than a decade before shifting his primary focus to composition. His orchestral work Become Ocean, which the Seattle Symphony premiered in 2013, in many ways set the current agenda, evoking “melting polar ice and rising sea levels,” according to the committee that awarded it the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Other contemporary composers drawn to climate issues include Matthew Aucoin (Second Nature), Ashley Fure (The Force of Things), and Lei Liang (Hearing Seascapes). The Beethoven Pastoral Project, based in Bonn, Germany, has gathered more than 80 participating ensembles to perform Beethoven’s Sixth (“Pastoral”) Symphony in an effort to call attention to environmental sustainability; among the participants is the Greenwich Village Orchestra in New York City. Last July, the Dream Unfinished, a New York-based orchestra focusing on social-justice issues, looked at the socioeconomic impact of climate change through new orchestrations of works by Laura Kaminsky, Roberto Sierra, Harry Burleigh, and other composers. A handful of European orchestras have been out front in seeking to reduce their environmental impact, including Sweden’s Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, which in 2019 announced it would cease to use

comes from the electricity used to power their buildings, whether concert halls, museums, or libraries. Among the other top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. are waste disposal (11 percent), touring (3 percent), and business travel (3 percent). To reduce the amount of energy used, “for any concert hall, the first place you look is energy efficiency,” says Chiara Badiali, Knowledge and Sector Intelligence Lead for Julie’s Bicycle, a London-based environmental nonprofit, which conducted the study for Arts Council England. “Can you reduce the amount of energy that you use? Generally speaking, yes, you can. The second step is to get renewable electricity. Either generate your own, buy it from a [renewable-energy] supplier, or get renewable energy certificates to cover the amount that you are using. It’s all about helping to shift to renewable energy.”

Lucas Richman, music director of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in Maine, with the score for The Warming Sea, his new orchestral work that reflects on climate change. The Bangor Symphony partnered with the Maine Science Festival to commission the work.

15,000 metric tons—the equivalent of the annual energy use of 6,300 homes. In the United States, where efficient, high-speed rail infrastructure lags far behind Europe, there is a growing focus on making hall operations more sustainable. Though comparable data on American orchestras is lacking, a 2019 study of some 747 British arts organizations found that 81 percent of their carbon footprint

1980 building, which is owned by the city of San Francisco, to achieve Gold LEED certification in 2019. LEED—or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is a rating system established by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council that measures a building’s sustainability goals; its four rating levels are certified, silver, gold, and platinum. San Francisco exemplifies a broader


promoting mobile app-based program books. (It’s worth noting that mobile devices, the Internet, and the systems supporting them account for 3.7 percent of global greenhouse emissions, according to some estimates.) There has been a 20 percent reduction in concert-related trash,


partly as a result of reusing paper program books that would otherwise be discarded. New concert venues are increasingly being built with sustainability as a top priority from the start, says Tom Whitaker, the Project Director of the Reach expansion at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Architects for cultural centers see this as “standard operating procedure,” he says. “They will typically propose buildings that are very sustainable.” The Reach, which opened in September 2019, is the first expansion

Stefan Cohen

Scott Streble

In the United States, there is a growing focus on making hall operations more sustainable.

Before a concert, Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns (at center) announced that Orchestra Hall had achieved a LEED Silver rating for environmental upgrades. She recalls, “There was just a whoop in the room.”

Composer Adam Schoenberg (at left) takes a bow following the October 2019 world premiere of his Losing Earth percussion concerto by the San Francisco Symphony with (at center) soloist Jacob Nissly, the orchestra’s principal percussionist. The new score evokes climate change.

San Francisco Symphony

trend. Municipal governments and business groups have promoted green practices as a way to attract new businesses, cut maintenance costs, and protect the local air and water. In 2013, the St. Louis Symphony was one of 80 organizations to adopt a sustainability policy in response to a “green business challenge” organized by the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Changes at Powell Hall include the introduction of high-efficiency (LED) light bulbs, recyclable paper products, and an expanded bus program for patrons. Similarly, DeVos Performance Hall, the 2,400-seat home to Michigan’s Grand Rapids Symphony, has undergone a series of upgrades intended to make it a zerowaste facility by 2025 and, eventually, carbon-neutral. “First we went after the lowhanging fruit,” says Eddie T.L. Tadlock, the assistant general manager of ASMGlobal, which operates the venue. “You do your recycling. You switch out your lamps to LEDs. You put new flush valves in the restrooms. We cut our water usage in half in the performance hall. We recently moved towards completely compostable or recyclable materials in our concessions. It may not seem like a lot, but in the long run it is. All beer and wine is sold in cups made out of soy-based products, so they’re compostable.” Tadlock reports that the new LED lighting will pay for itself in six months as a result of utility bill savings combined with rebates. DeVos Hall officials are also encouraging the Grand Rapids Symphony and other tenants to conserve paper by

on achieving the highest rating possible.” Similar goals have underpinned the development of Tanglewood’s Linde Center for Music and Learning, a four-building complex in Lenox, Massachusetts that opened in 2019 with various sustainable features, and Carnegie Hall’s studio towers renovation project, which received LEED Silver certification in 2015. Badiali of Julie’s Bicycle stresses the importance of publicizing eco-friendly practices. “Whatever you do, make it visible, have that dialogue with your audience,” Badiali says. “Walk the walk, then talk the talk. As soon as someone enters your space you are saying as much about your

Davies Symphony Hall, home of the San Francisco Symphony, was built in 1980 but recently underwent environmental upgrades that earned the building Gold LEED certification.

in the Kennedy Center’s 48-year history. Designed by Steven Holl Architects with the architecture and design firm BNIM, it embeds three pavilions within the riverside landscape adjacent to the Kennedy Center and has achieved LEED Gold certification for its eco-friendly landscaping and energy and water efficiency. “Stephen Holl said he would like to aim for the highest LEED certification possible,” says Whitaker. “Once he was selected, the direction was the design team should focus

orchestra and how that space feels as you are with any kind of communication materials.” When Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis achieved a LEED Silver rating for its 2019 upgrades, Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns announced it onstage before a concert. “There was just a whoop in the room,” she recalls. “I remember a gentleman in the middle of the main floor who just stuck his fist up in the air and went, ‘yeah!’ ” The certification, which followed a three-year retrofitting process, has involved “some upfront investment,” Burns said, but with the expectation for long-term cost savings. Among the retrofits are high-efficiency filtration, LED lighting, native landscaping, and a stormwater retention tank. symphony


Garry Gold Photography

offices in nearby Schenectady, New York (the renewable focus suggests a marked shift from generations past, when GE was a notorious polluter of the region’s water, including the Hudson River). Climate change is of particular concern to millennials. The San Francisco Symphony last October introduced Losing Earth, a percussion concerto by 39-year-old Los Angeles composer Adam Schoenberg and featuring Jacob Nissly, principal percussion at the San Francisco Symphony. Schoenberg came to the Taking a bow after the world premiere performance by the Albany Symphony of Viet Cuong’s Re(new)al in October 2018 are (from left) Sandbox Percussion ensemble members Ian Rosenbaum, Victor Caccese, Jonny Allen, Terry Sweeney, and composer Viet Cuong. Albany Symphony Music Director David Alan Miller led the performance at the Palace Theatre.

Green Music

Just as upgrades like low-flow plumbing fixtures can help save on utility bills, environmentally-themed repertoire has allowed orchestras to tap funding or expertise from science-based organizations. In 2019 the National Symphony Orchestra premiered Lera Auerbach’s Arctica, a meditation on the vulnerable state of the Arctic, co-commissioned by the National Geographic Society. As part of her research, Auerbach joined the Society on multiple trips to the Arctic Circle, where she learned enough Inuit to craft a libretto in the language. The work premiered in March 2019 to favorable reviews, and drew attention for the use of blocks of ice as percussion instruments. Similarly, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in Maine partnered with the

Maine Science Festival to commission The Warming Sea, by Lucas Richman, the orchestra’s music director. The piece, whose March premiere was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fea-

At one concert hall, new LED lighting will pay for itself in six months as a result of utility bill savings combined with rebates.

tures a women’s chorus cast as sirens who intone a “song of climate change deniers,” explains Richman. “My hope is that The Warming Sea will perhaps provide a platform for more discussion on what we can do” to slow further climate change. Last season, New York’s Albany Symphony introduced Re(new)al, a percussion quartet concerto by Viet Cuong, a 30-yearold, Princeton, New Jersey composer; the work’s three movements explore water, wind, and solar power. The piece was commissioned by GE Renewable Energy, a division of General Electric that develops wind turbines, hydroelecEco-conscious upgrades, including new LED lighting, are leading to tric power, and solar cost savings at DeVos Performance Hall, home of the Grand Rapids Symphony. panels, and which has americanorchestras.org

Eddie T.L. Tadlock, the assistant general manager of ASM-Global, which operates DeVos Performance Hall, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s main performance venue, says that individual steps to reduce power consumption and waste “may not seem like a lot” but add up significantly in the long run.

theme after reading a New York Times Magazine article about the history of government inaction on global warming. “I just knew immediately that my piece was somehow going to be a response, not to the article per se, but to the idea of climate change and the uncertainty of our future,” he says. With its visceral evocation of a California coastline threatened by rising seas, Losing Earth also shows the power of a local angle to drive home a message. This can similarly apply to community engagement: In 2018, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts took up the cause of local marine habitats and beaches as part of its in-school partnership program, which reaches some 40 elementary schools. For its curriculum, the orchestra focused on recycling as it applies to both composers (as in Beethoven’s reuse of musical materials)


As part of its in-school partnership program, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts examined the idea of recycling—by composers in music and by individuals in daily life. Says Terry Wolkowicz, the orchestra’s education director, “This idea of finding authentic connections to other subject areas, especially science, seems to be growing and growing.”

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra

means of transportation and use trains, buses, or sometimes even boats where possible.” (Carbon offsets, a method by which travelers or airlines fund the planting of trees or invest in emerging technology to make up for their share of jet fuel emissions, have stirred optimism but also some debate over their effectiveness.) Jasper Parrott, the co-founder and executive chairman of the London-based

Tracey Salazar Photography

there marking the centenary of Nelson Mandela, the country’s former president. The tour— which included musical tributes to Mandela, youth orchestra collaborations, and visits to underserved neighborhoods of Soweto One of the New Bedford Symphony’s education programs and Durban—went well in action. In 2018, its “Orchestra as Ecosystem” curriculum received the Massachusetts Secretary’s Award for beyond the conventional Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. sprint and made more thoughtful connections, and the environment (as when citizens built on an awareness of the counreuse plastics that otherwise turn up on try’s historic divisions. (Before local beaches). heading to South Africa, the orNew Bedford Symphony Orchestra chestra performed its Mandela- and Education Director Terry Wolkowicz says South Africa-related programing that she saw an uptick in support from in Minneapolis with local partners, schools, including additional funding and forging new bonds with hometown other resources, after the science compocommunities.) The tour set an amnent was introduced. “We don’t just come bitious international agenda that in and say, ‘we’re going to perform in your this year was expected to include a school,’ ” she notes. “We have shared learntour to Vietnam and South Korea, ing objectives. This idea of finding authenbut the 2020 Asia tour was cantic connections to other subject areas, escelled due to the coronavirus threat. In March of 2019, the National Symphony Orchestra pecially science, seems to be growing and Neeta Helms, president of Clas- premiered Lera Auerbach’s Arctica, a meditation on the vulnerable state of the Arctic, co-commissioned growing.” sical Movements, the agency that by the National Geographic Society. Teddy Abrams organized the South Africa trip, led the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Rethinking Tours says her company is “keenly aware” Chorus, and Auerbach at the piano. Auerbach’s score Despite the efforts to improve concert of the environmental impact of utilized blocks of ice as percussion instruments. hall sustainability and promote environtouring, particularly when it comes mental programming, concert-related to developing countravel remains a persistent source of tries. “Unfortunately, planet-warming greenhouse gases. While there is not a viable tours can contribute to an orchestra’s fiway to plan a transnancial bottom line, they are perhaps continental concert more important in elevating artistic protour without air travel,” files at home and abroad, offering musishe states in an e-mail, cians and staff fresh perspectives, and “but we are committed generating civic pride. All the same, orto exploring ways to chestras are now considering those aims minimize the impact in the context of a new awareness of enof this travel as much vironmental impact. as possible. We are Some tours go beyond the standard currently finding ways cultural-ambassador mission. In 2018, to incorporate carbonsome 300 musicians, staff, and supportoffset costs into our The Reach, an expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the ers from the Minnesota Orchestra travbudgets for our clients; Performing Arts that includes multiuse studios and meeting places, eled approximately 9,000 miles each way already, we regularly achieved LEED Gold certification for its eco-friendly landscaping and to South Africa, as part of a five-city tour recommend alternate energy and water efficiency. Reach opened in September 2019.




groups (22 percent), and combined arts venues (22 percent). Not measured was the impact in comparison to, say, sports or popular music festivals. Parrott, who wrote a column in The Guardian last December about classical music’s role in the climate crisis, adds Marketing materials for concerts featuring the world premiere that there are no easy solutions in March of The Warming Sea at the Bangor Symphony evoke when it comes to touring Asia, Maine’s enduring connection to its rugged seacoast. Due to a vital emerging market. “We concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the orchestra’s all have to be thoughtful and March concerts were cancelled. measured and seek to make solutions that would not do more harm than good,” he says. artist management agency HarrisonParOther orchestra professionals believe rott, believes that tour schedules should be broadly refocused, away from linear cityto-city trips and instead around “clusters” The League of American of events in a given region. “I’m talking to managers and conductors who feel we Orchestras successfully need to get away from linear tours that are partnered with U.S. and too long, not very efficient, and often very international groups on expensive,” he says. “We should be aiming for residencies or semi-residencies. You regulations that improve base an orchestra in a particular city and travel for musicians with work with one or two other nearby cities.” instruments while advancing The 2019 Arts Council England environmental report found that music-based conservation efforts.

ments containing fragments of endangered woods. The League of American Orchestras partnered with U.S. and international organizations that are parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to successfully adapt uniform, consistent policies concerning travel with and trade of musical instruments. These regulations improve the mobility of performing artists, redirect enforcement resources to better support conservation, and advance critical conservation efforts while also supporting ongoing international cultural activity. (Visit the “Travel with Instruments” section of americanorchestras. org for complete information.) Lucas Richman of the Bangor Symphony remembers a planning discussion about an elaborate gala scheduled the night before his piece on warming oceans was to get its premiere. A decision was quickly made to use biodegradable cups and cutlery. “These are definitely top-of-mind subjects,” he says. “Especially when we are presenting a piece like this, we must be careful not to be hypocritical.” BRIAN WISE writes about music for outlets including BBC Music Magazine, Musical America, and Strings. He is also the producer for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s national radio series.



Astral Artists ........................................ 35 Berens Pops Library ............................. 17 Classical Action ...................................... 2 Robert Benson

The Cliburn ......................................... C4

Tanglewood’s Linde Center for Music and Learning, which opened in June of 2019 as the home of the Tanglewood Learning Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts, is among the new arts buildings designed with sustainable features.

organizations account for about 12 percent of the total carbon footprint released by all cultural organizations, far less than museums (representing 41percent), theater americanorchestras.org

that one should simply strive for as much consistency as possible. This may extend to matters as disparate as printing and shipping sheet music to the care of instru-

Dan Kamin Comedy Concertos ............. 9

League of American Orchestras .......... C2 OnStage Publications ........................... 27

Oregon Bach Festival ........................... 51 Paul Dooley: The Conductor’s Spellbook .......................................... 23 Ravinia ................................................. 53

The Wallace Foundation ...................... C3 Word Pros, Inc. ..................................... 27

Yamaha Corporation of America ........... 3


LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS With the support of our valued donors, the League continues to have a positive impact on the future of orchestras in America by helping to develop the next generation of leaders, generating and disseminating critical knowledge and information, and advocating for the unique role of the orchestral experience in American life before an ever-widening group of stakeholders. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who contributed gifts of $600 and above in the last year, as of March 9, 2020. For more information regarding a gift to the League, please visit us at americanorchestras.org/donate, call 212.262.5161, or write us at Annual Fund, League of American Orchestras, 520 8th Avenue, Suite 2005, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10018. $150,000 and above

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PLAYING OUR PART: THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS Playing our Part is a campaign to support a major $2 million infrastructure investment in our service to America’s orchestras, including a new headquarters, modern website, increased digital learning capacity, and an improved information technology ecosystem. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the following donors who have made commitments to support this work: Burton Alter Alberta Arthurs Marie-Hélène Bernard • Michelle Miller Burns Heather Clarke Melanie Clarke Bruce & Martha Clinton, on behalf of The Clinton Family Fund ✧ Gloria dePasquale Daniel & David Els-Piercey David J.L. Fisk Drs. Aaron & Christina Stanescu Flagg Vanessa Gardner, in honor of Group 5-6 members Marian A. Godfrey The Hagerman Family Charitable Fund, Douglas & Jane Hagerman Jim Hasler Patricia G. Howard James M. Johnson Mark Jung Charitable Gift Fund Dr. Hugh W. Long John & Regina Mangum Alan Mason Anthony McGill David Alan Miller Mr. & Mrs. Alfred P. Moore Peter & Catherine Moye Lowell & Sonja Noteboom Steve and Diane Parrish Foundation Mary Carr Patton Karen & Tom Philion Patricia A. Richards & William K. Nichols Jesse Rosen Barbara & Robert Rosoff ✧ Mr. & Mrs. David Roth Sakana Foundation Sargent Family Foundation, Cynthia Sargent ✧ Helen P. Shaffer Richard K. Smucker Ms. Trine Sorensen & Mr. Michael Jacobson Isaac Thompson & Tonya Vachirasomboon Alan D. Valentine Penny & John Van Horn Robert Wagner Kelly Waltrip Sheila J. Williams Lindsey Wood



Mattlin Foundation David Alan Miller Anne Parsons and Donald Dietz †• The Alfred & Jane Ross Foundation Deborah F. Rutter † Michael J. Schmitz Laura Street Melia & Mike Tourangeau Kathleen van Bergen Doris & Clark Warden † Simon Woods & Karin Brookes †


Jeff & Keiko Alexander Tiffany & Jim Ammerman † Gene & Mary Arner Dawn M. Bennett Beracha Family Charitable Gift Fund Aubrey & Ryan Bergauer Mr. & Mrs. Dennis C. Bottorff Margaret A. Bracken Elaine Amacker Bridges Susan K. Bright Wayne S. Brown & Brenda E. Kee † Charles Cagle † Janet & John Canning † Leslie & Dale Chihuly Kevin & Katie Crumbo The Dirk Family The Doerr Foundation + D.M. Edwards, in honor of Jesse Rosen, Tiffany Ammerman, & Vanessa Gardner Marisa Eisemann Feder Gordon Family Fund Courtney & David Filner • John Forsyte • James M. Franklin † Lawrence & Karen Fridkis Galena-Yorktown Foundation, Ronald D. Abramson Kem Gardner William Gettys Mr. Andrew Giacobone Edward Benton Gill † Martha A. Gilmer Luella G. Goldberg Ed & Nancy Goodrich Paul Grangaard Nancy Greenbach André Gremillet Daniel & Barbara Hart • Jamei Haswell Ms. Sharon D. Hatchett, Volunteer Council Howard Herring Dr. & Mrs. Claire Fox Hillard Patricia G. Howard + ICSOM Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles Robert Turner & Jay James Paul R. Judy Kathy Junek Cindy & Randy Kidwell Hess and Helyn Kline Foundation Joseph Kluger and Susan Lewis Fund americanorchestras.org

Donald Krause & JoAnne Krause † David Loebel Mr. John & Dr. Gail Looney Ginny Lundquist Sandi M.A. Macdonald & Henry J. Grzes John & Regina Mangum Yvonne Marcuse Jonathan Martin Steve & Lou Mason † McCollum Family Charitable Fund Debbie McKinney † Paul Meecham † Zarin & Carmen Mehta † Anne W. Miller † Steven Monder † Matt & Rhonda Mulroy Robert Naparstek Bob & Kathy Olsen Howard Palefsky John Palmer † Drs. Mark & Nancy Peacock Raymond & Tresa Radermacher Barbara S. Robinson Susan L. Robinson Barbara & Robert Rosoff ✧ Roger Sant Mr. & Mrs. James C. Seabury Dr. Lee Shackelford Pratichi Shah David Strickland Manley H. Thaler Isaac Thompson Mark Tillinger Marylou & John D.* Turner Edith & Thomas Van Huss Jeffrey vom Saal Gus M. Vratsinas Robert Wagner Linda Weisbruch † Terry Ann White David Whitehill Donna M. Williams Sheila J. Williams Paul Winberg & Bruce Czuchna Mr. & Mrs. Tsung Yeh


Lester Abberger & Dr. Amanda Stringer † Megen Balda David R. Bornemann, Vice Chair, Phoenix Symphony Drs. Misook Yun & James William Boyd • Doris & Michael Bronson John Burrows & Melinda Whiting Burrows, in honor of Jesse Rosen Don & Judy Christl † Heather Clarke Scott Faulkner & Andrea Lenz † Jack M. Firestone Ryan Fleur & Laura Banchero †• Vanessa Gardner, in honor of Group 5-6 members Bob Garthwait, Jr. GE Foundation

HELEN M. THOMPSON HERITAGE SOCIETY The League of American Orchestras graciously recognizes those who have remembered the League in their estate plans as members of the Helen M. Thompson Heritage Society. Janet F. and Dr. Richard E. Barb Family Foundation Wayne S. Brown & Brenda E. Kee † John & Janet Canning † Richard & Kay Fredericks Cisek ✧ Martha and Herman Copen Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Myra Janco Daniels Samuel C. Dixon • Henry & Frances Fogel ✧ Susan Harris, Ph.D. Louise W. Kahn Endowment Fund of The Dallas Foundation The Curtis and Pamela Livingston 2000 Charitable Remainder Unitrust Steve & Lou Mason † Lowell & Sonja Noteboom Charles & Barbara Olton † Peter Pastreich † Walter P. Pettipas Revocable Trust Rodger E. Pitcairn Patricia A. Richards & William K. Nichols Robert & Barbara Rosoff ✧ Robert J. Wagner Tina Ward • † Mr. & Mrs. Albert K. Webster ✧ Robert Wood Revocable Trust Anonymous (1)

Michael Gehret Mary L. Gray Benjamin Hoyer H.T. and Laura Hyde Charitable Fund at East Texas Communities Foundation † Sally & William Johnson Russell Jones & Aaron Gillies Emma Murley Kail • Sarah E. Kelly Anna Kuwabara & Craig Edwards • Robert Levine Bob & Charlotte Lewis Jennifer Mondie Becky Odland † Mr. Donald F. Roth † Joan Squires • † Directors Council (former League Board) ✧ Emeritus Board • Orchestra Management Fellowship Program Alumni + Includes Corporate Matching Gift * Deceased



Homes Away from Home Josh Goleman

ideas for the orchestra’s new chamber series and indie series, which are under my control. Next season, there are a number of works on subscription that I had a hand in. I had said to Gabriel Kahane Charles and Music Director Carlos Kalmar, we’ve got to commission Gabriella Smith—and this season Gabriella has a piece that’s being premiered. I got my first commission for large ensemble, Orinoco Sketches, after John Adams had heard my first album, which has some string quartet and brass quintet writing. He said I should write a piece like to reach into the for the Los Angeles Philharexperience of people whose monic’s “Green Umbrella” lives are different than my new-music program. That was own, in pieces like emergency true trial by fire. I was sendshelter intake form, which ing him drafts of the score in is a meditation on inequality progress, and he saved me from through the lens of housing. We a certain amount of embartry to avoid saying “homeless rassment. You have to write people” as an adjective, because practical music if your work for the vast majority of people is going to be performed. I’ve who experience homelessness, gotten better at it. If you use it’s a transitory condition: you’re extended techniques, you need not defined by the experience to find ways that aren’t going Gabriel Kahane (center) performs with bandmates Holcombe Waller (left) of homelessness. When I said to eat up a huge amount of and Holland Andrews (right) in emergency shelter intake form with the that I felt we needed to include rehearsal time. Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago’s Millennium Park, led by Grant Park the voices of people whose My mom is a psychologist Music Festival Artistic Director Carlos Kalmar, July 5, 2019. lived experience could bear as well as a very fine amateur witness to what the piece is about, Monica emergency shelter intake form. But it has singer. Something that has become apparHayes, the Oregon Symphony’s director been transformative to see other orchesent to me is the extent to which her craft of education and outreach, immediately tras pick up the piece. We did it in 2018 at as an empath has become increasingly knew where to turn and contacted the the Britt Festival, which co-commissioned central to what I do as a songwriter. My Maybelle Community Center in Portland. it, and in Chicago last summer at the 2018 album Book of Travelers chronicled Maybelle is an incredible organization Grant Park Music Festival. There were my train trip in the aftermath of the 2016 that for almost three decades has sought three performances this March—the Orpresidential election. Those songs seem to to create community living. They were way lando Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony have continued staying power as our diviahead in recognizing that social isolation Orchestra, and Milwaukee Symphony sions harden. That work’s implicit thesis, leads to bad health outcomes. One of their Orchestra—and a number are scheduled to the extent that there is one, is about programs is a community chorus, which for next season. getting out from behind our screens and sang in the final movement of emergency Charles Calmer, the Oregon Symphotalking to people and trying to recover a shelter. ny’s vice president for artistic planning, sense of what is shared even in the face of I was emotionally pulverized by writing has been so generous in carrying out my deep divisions. For a singer-songwriter, Gabriel Kahane has been spending a lot of time with orchestras. He is composer in residence at Florida’s Orlando Philharmonic this season, and creative chair at the Oregon Symphony through the 2021-22 season. But Kahane, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, straddles multiple musical worlds. As singer, pianist, and guitarist, he has performed with the Punch Brothers band and indie-rock singer Andrew Bird—and as a composer he has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall. If his last name sounds familiar, that’s because his father is conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane. Several orchestras have performed his orchestral oratorio emergency shelter intake form, which focuses on homelessness and was premiered by the Oregon Symphony. For 2020-21, the Oregon Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra have co-commissioned his next orchestral work, The Right to Be Forgotten. Here, he speaks about what he hopes to achieve with his music, addressing the issues of our day, and his orchestral learning curve. [Note: Some performances discussed may have been cancelled or postponed, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check orchestra websites for the most up-to-date information.]

Norman Timonera





GETTING PEOPLE IN THE DOOR IS HARD WORK. THESE STUDIES CAN HELP. Taking Out the Guesswork: A Guide to Using Research to Build Arts Audiences Learn about three tasks key to successful audience building: understanding potential audiences, creating effective promotional materials, and tracking and assessing progress. The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences Ten arts organizations that took on ambitious audience-building projects. This guide identifies nine practices their most successful efforts had in common.

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Symphony Spring 2020  

Symphony Spring 2020  

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