Women Composers Readings and Commissions Program
Previous Commission Recipients
The Women Composers Readings and Commissions program is an initiative of the League of American Orchestras, in partnership with American Composers Orchestra (ACO) and supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
Since its inception in 2014, the Women Composers Readings and Commissions program has shown impressive results:
- Thirty-four women composers benefitted from career development via the EarShot Readings
- Thirteen composers have now received commissions
- Five premieres have taken place (premieres by Julia Adolphe, Melody Eötvös, Chen-Hui Jen, Andreia Pinto Correia, and Andrea Reinkemeyer)
2014 commission recipient Julia Adolphe’s Unearth, Release (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra) received its New York premiere November 17-19, 2016 by the New York Philharmonic, conductor Jaap van Zweden, and Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps as soloist. Melody Eötvös’s Red Dirt | Silver Rain was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2015 by American Composers Orchestra as part of the orchestra’s SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a festival devoted to new music written in the 21st century by composers age 40 and under.
The recipients of the 2015 Women Composers commissions were Andreia Pinto Correia and Xi Wang, who were both awarded $15,000 and an orchestral commission. Andreia Pinto Correia's Ciprés received its premiere by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra on April 6, 2018, and Xi Wang is working on a piece for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.
2016 commission recipient Chen-Hui Jen's work, in eternal dusk, was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra on January 27, 2018. Composers Wang Jie and Hannah Lash also received commissions in 2016 (premiere dates tbd).
2017 commissions were granted to Andrea Reinkemeyer, whose Water Sings Fire was premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Carlos Miguel Prieto on January 10, 2019, with additional performances on January 11 and 12. Stacy Garrop’s new work will be premiered by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (details to be announced). Robin Holcomb’s new work will be premiered by the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) and music director Eckart Preu on January 19 and 21, 2020.
Photo Credit: Frank Ishman
Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. Stacy shares stories by taking audiences on sonic journeys – some simple and beautiful, while others are complicated and dark – depending on the needs and dramatic shape of the story.
New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras have chosen Stacy and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra as one of five orchestra/composer pairings for Music Alive’s 2016-2019 residence program. She will also serve as the inaugural Emerging Opera Composer for Chicago Opera Theater’s new Vanguard Initiative in 2018-2020. Theodore Presser Company publishes her chamber and orchestral works; she self-publishes her choral pieces under Inkjar Publishing Company. Stacy is a recording artist with Cedille Records; her works are also commercially available on nine additional labels.
Stacy has received the Barlow Prize, a Fromm Music Foundation grant, three Barlow Endowment commissions, and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, along with prizes from competitions sponsored by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Omaha Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Boston Choral Ensemble, Utah Arts Festival, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and Sorel Organization. She has participated in reading session programs sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra (the Composers Institute).
Stacy’s catalog covers a wide range, with works for orchestra, wind ensemble, choir, art song, various sized chamber ensembles, and an evening-length oratorio. She has been commissioned and performed by the Albany Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra; by the chamber groups Capitol Saxophone Quartet, Gaudete Brass Quintet, and Kronos Quartet; and by the choirs Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Chorus, San Francisco Choral Society, and Volti. Additional performances have been given by the Cabrillo and Grant Park Music Festival Orchestras; Amarillo, Charleston, Columbus, Illinois, Omaha, and Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestras; by Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Lincoln Trio, and Voices of Change; and by Grant Park Music Festival Chorus and Voices of Ascension.
Stacy earned degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Indiana University-Bloomington (D.M.). She taught composition full-time at Roosevelt University from 2000 to 2016 before leaving to launch her freelance career. For more information, please visit her website at www.garrop.com or her all-things-composition blog at www.composerinklings.com/
Stacy Garrop's work will be premiered by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (details to be announced).
Photo Credit: Peter Gannushkin DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET
Robin Holcomb has performed internationally as a solo artist and the leader of various ensembles. Following Sundanese gamelan performance studies at UC Santa Cruz and several years spent sharecropping tobacco in North Carolina, Holcomb was active in New York for many years as a composer and performer with deep roots in the downtown avant-garde as one of the original Studio Henry mavericks. She has recorded her music for Nonesuch, Tzakik, Songlines, and the New World labels. Holcomb is a founder and co-director of The New York Composers Orchestra and WACO (The Washington Composers Orchestra), ensembles for which she is also conductor, pianist and a principal composer. Other current performing ensembles include a longstanding duo project with cellist Peggy Lee and The Robin Holcomb Ensemble. Composing instrumental and vocal music for a wide variety of chamber ensembles and soloists, she has been commissioned to create scores for dance, film and theatre.
“Robin Holcomb is haunted. …It's not that she isn't an original.” (The
“Ms. Holcomb's long form piece, Before the Comet Comes, is
staggeringly beautiful.” (New York Times)
“…this fascinatingly eclectic pianist, composer, and singer has few
qualms about mingling folk, jazz, chamber music, and points between
and beyond in arresting original music.” (The New Yorker)
“Satie goes to Appalachia, Morricone goes to the Knitting Factory,
and you, dear art-folk fan, die and go to heaven.” (The Village Voice)
Robin Holcomb's work (title tbd) will be premiered by the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine) and music director Eckart Preu on January 19 and 21, 2020.
Photo Credit: Frank Miller
The music of American composer Andrea Reinkemeyer has been described as, “haunting,” “melodic and fun, dancing and almost running its way forward... whimsical,” “clever, funky, jazzy and virtuosic” (Detroit Free Press, Fanfare Magazine, Schenectady Daily Gazette); it explores the interplay of visual metaphors, nature, and sound to create lush textures against churning rhythmic figures.
Ms. Reinkemeyer has enjoyed recent commissions from: Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra, H. Robert Reynolds and The Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, Rodney Dorsey for the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble and University Singers, In Mulieribus, Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield College, Post-Haste Reed Duo, Jeffrey Heisler for the Primary Colors Trio, Miller Asbill and the Texas Tech University Concert Band, The Wild Swan Theater, Iowa Music Teachers’ Association, and many performers and visual artists.
Her music is distributed by the ADJ•ective Composers’ Collective; it has been performed both nationally and internationally, by the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, North-South Consonance Chamber Orchestra, fEAR no MUSIC, The Fire Wire Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, and Thailand International Composition Festival. Her electroacoustic compositions have been performed on the SEAMUS Conference, Spark Electronic Music Festival, University of Central Missouri New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest Festival, and Threshold Electronic Music Festival.
Reinkemeyer enjoys exploring music with students of all ages. In 2014, she joined the faculty of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon as Assistant Professor of Music Composition & Theory. Previously, she served as a Part-time Lecturer in the Mahidol University International College, in Salaya, Thailand (2011-12) and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Composition, Theory and Technology at Bowling Green State University, Ohio (2005-10). Reinkemeyer has been the Composer-in-Residence with the Michigan Philharmonic’s, “The Composer in Me!” Education Pilot Program (2010-11), American-Romanian Festival’s Fusion Project (2011), and Burns Park Elementary School (2004, 2005, 2010). Her work with young musicians has been supported by a Meet the Composer/MetLife Creative Connections Grant.
Dr. Reinkemeyer holds degrees in music composition from the University of Michigan and University of Oregon; her primary composition teachers include: Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, Susan Botti, James Aikman, Robert Kyr, Jack Boss, and Harold Owen. Born and raised in Oregon, she has also lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Bangkok, Thailand.
Andrea Reinkemeyer's work, Water Sings Fire, was premiered by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Carlos Miguel Prieto on January 10, 2019, with additional performances on January 11 and 12.
Chen-Hui Jen is a composer whose music presents an imaginative, spiritual, and poetic space with subtlety and sophistication. She earned a Ph.D. degree in Composition at the University of California, San Diego, where her mentor was Chinary Ung.
Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Chen-Hui Jen received her M.F.A. in composition at the Graduate School of Music at the Taipei National University of the Arts and B.F.A. in composition at the Music Department of the National Sun Yet-San University, under the instruction of Prof. Hwang-Long Pan and Dr. Tzyy-Sheng Lee. She began studying piano at age four, under the instruction of professors including Aleck Karis and Ming-Fen Hsu.
Chen-Hui Jen writes music for music for orchestra, chamber, and solo, for both Western and Chinese instruments, and vocal and choral works as well as works with computer and electronics. Chen-Hui Jen's works have been performed at multiple new music festivals and concerts, including the ISCM World Music Days, SEAMUS, Acanthes Music Festival, ACL Music Festival, EarShot San Diego Workshop, New Music Miami Season, Taipei International New Music Festival, WOCMA T, and Contemporary Sizhu Music Festival. Chen-Hui Jen's works have won numerous prizes in the Taiwan Literature and Fine Arts Composition Competition for chamber, choral, and solo works, the Formosa Composition Competition for violin concerto, the International Tsang-Houei Hsu Music Composition Competition for Chinese chamber music, the International Taiwan Music Center Composition Competition, and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition. She has also received multiple commissions from the Palimpsest Ensemble, Accordant Commons, The Living Earth Show, Ensemble ISCM-Taiwan, Taipei Chamber Singers, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, Ching-Yun Chorus, Kaohsiung Chamber Choir, and Muller Choir, as well as multiple grants from the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Taiwan National and Arts Foundation.
Since 2010, Dr. Jen has performed piano in a duo with her husband, composer/computer musician Jacob David Sudol. Together they've played many distinguished venues such as the Taipei National Recital Hall, Taiwan National Chiao Tung University, the Spectrum in New York City, Center for New Music in San Francisco, ISCM New Music Miami Festival, Root Signal Festival, Miami Bakehouse Art Complex, University of California at San Diego, Mills College, California Institute of Arts, Chapman University, and Florida International University. She is currently also a pianist in the NODUS Ensemble and the White Ibis Ensemble.
Chen-Hui Jen's work, in eternal dusk, was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Music Director and Principal Conductor Matthew Kraemer on January 27, 2018.
Part cartoon character, part virtuoso, musical whiz kid Wang Jie has been nudging serious music and its concert audiences into spectacular frontiers over the past few seasons. Her From New York, With Love transformed a classic percussionist into a dervish-like rock star. Her chamber opera Flown dramatized the end of a rocky love affair by having the two pianists attack each other and their shared instrument. Despite having the worst title in the history of music, Oboe Concerto For The Genuine Heart Of Sadness channeled the power of Liang Wang, the principle oboist of the New York Philharmonic, and the League of Composers Orchestra into an orgiastic whirlwind. An unexpected collaboration with comedy writer Paul Simms inspired a song cycle titled Lord? Please Don't Let Me Die in a Funny Way, coaxing belly laughs from an otherwise sedate Opera America audience. Not one to let herself off the hook at her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Composers Orchestra, she shape-shifted into a monkey god swiveling on stage between three keyboards during a performance of her concert opera From The Other Sky.
One day she spins a few notes into large symphonic forms, the next she calls Zodiac animals to the opera stage. It is no accident that Ms. Wang's stylistic versatility is a rare trait in today's composers. There is a mile-long dossier on Jie's outside-the-box incidents. It begins with a thrilling escape from a Chinese military-run kindergarten at the age of four. Behind a touch of glorious madness to Jie's music, the skill, theatricality, and method that once facilitated her youthful escape are now the engines for her appetite to "Engage • Explore • Play." Jie credits her mentors at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and NYU's PhD program for all the music mischief she didn't think was possible.
Most recently, her Symphony No. 2, commissioned and premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, was streamed live to a worldwide audience. Upcoming, Symphonic Overture 'America, The Beautiful' will be premiered by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Chamber opera Rated R For Rat will receive a premiere production by Festival Opera, and her Symphony No.2 is on the bill at the Buffalo Philharmonic. Wang Jie is currently creating Phoenix Fallen, a prison opera. Supported by the McKnight Foundation, Jie will spend a year as a resident composer at the Shakopee Correctional Facility in Minnesota, where she will conduct field work and opera workshops in collaboration with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and the Shakopee prison choir.
For more information on Wang Jie, please visit her website.
Hailed by the New York Times as "striking and resourceful...handsomely brooding," Hannah Lash's music has been commissioned by The Fromm Foundation, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Columbia University's Miller Theatre, The Naumburg Foundation, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Colorado and Aspen Music Festivals, among many others.
Lash has received numerous honors and prizes, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a Charles lves Scholarship (2011) and Fellowship (2016) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Foundation Commission, the Naumburg Prize in Composition, the Barnard Rogers Prize in Composition, and the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize in Composition, among others.
In addition to performances of her music in the U.S.A., Lash's music is well known internationally. In April of 2008, her string quartet Four Still was performed in Kyev in the Ukraine's largest international new music festival, "Musical Premieres of the Season," curated by Carson Cooman. In 2016, her chamber orchestra work This Ease was selected as "audience favorite" in performances by the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz, conducted by Hermann Baumer.
Recent premieres include Three Shades Without Angles, for flute, viola and harp, by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players; Two Movements for violin and piano, commissioned by the Library of Congress for Ensemble lntercontemporain; a new chamber opera, Beowulf, for Guerilla Opera; and new orchestral works for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as two concerti for harp premiered by the American Composers Orchestra and the Colorado Music Festival, both with Lash as soloist. In 2016, Lash was honored with a Composer Portraits Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre. In the 2016-2017 season, Lash receives the premiere of her Requiem with the Yale Choral Artists as well as the debut of The Voynich Symphony, a major large-scale orchestral work, with the New Haven Symphony.
Lash obtained her Ph.D in Composition from Harvard University in 2010. She has held teaching positions at Harvard University (Teaching Fellow), at Alfred University (Guest Professor of Composition), and currently serves on the composition faculty at Yale University School of Music.
For more information on Hannah Lash, please visit her website.
Photo: Tiago Miranda-Expresso
Andreia Pinto Correia
The prestigious literary magazine Jornal de Letras describes Andreia Pinto Correia’s compositions as “a major contribution to the dissemination of Portugal’s culture and language, perhaps a contribution larger than could ever be imagined.” Her music — described by the Boston Globe as “compellingly meditative” and by the New York Times as an “aural fabric” — is characterized by close attention to harmonic detail and timbral color. Following a family tradition of scholars and writers, her work often reflects the influence of literary sources from the Iberian Peninsula and beyond.
Ms. Pinto Correia is a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. Honors include commissions from the European Union Presidency, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Boston Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, National Symphony and National Dance Company of Portugal, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Culturgest National Bank of Portugal. Her work Timaeus, a concerto for orchestra commissioned by the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center in memory of Elliott Carter, was recently premiered at the opening concert of the Contemporary Music Festival’s 75th anniversary.
Her works have been performed by the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, and the Borromeo and the Mivos String Quartets. She has also been the recipient of a New Music USA Music Alive/League of American Orchestras Composer Residency, a Rockefeller Foundation Center Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts/Ucross Residency Prize, and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award by the Japan Society. In addition, she was the curator of the Fertile Crescent Festival for Contemporary Music at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Born in Portugal, Ms. Pinto Correia began her musical studies in her native Lisbon and received her Masters and Doctoral of Music degrees with Academic Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Bob Brookmeyer and Michael Gandolfi. She attended the Minnesota Composer Institute, the European Network of Opera Academies (ENOA), the American Opera Projects (AOP), the Composers Conference, and the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals. She was a participant in the first EarShot New Music Reading with the Memphis Symphony in 2009.
For more information about Andreia Pinto Correia, visit her website.
Andreia Pinto Correia's Ciprés received its premiere by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Rossen Milanov on April 6, 2018.
Photo: Eason Kong
Since arriving in the USA from her native China in 2001, Xi Wang has pursued a whirlwind of musical activities that have made her a rising star in new music. Her unique fusion of Asian and Western instruments and techniques with theatrical and choreographic elements has captivated audiences. She is increasingly in demand for orchestral, chamber, and vocal music.
Xi Wang’s original concert music has been performed worldwide by notable orchestras and ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, Voices of Change, Soli Chamber Ensemble, Tippet String Quartet, among others. She is the recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts award, Meet the Composer, New Music USA, American Music Center, MacDowell Colony residency, as well as prizes from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
Xi Wang received her B.M. from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, M.M. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and D.M.A. from Cornell University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Meadow School of Arts of Southern Methodist University. She was a participant in ACO's 2010 Underwood New Music Readings.
For more information on Xi Wang, visit her website.
Photo: Martin Chalifour
Twenty-seven year old composer Julia Adolphe’s music has already been described as “alive with invention” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), “colorful, mercurial, deftly orchestrated” (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times) and a “mastery of dynamic as well as harmonic complexity” (Financial Times). Adolphe’s works have received performances across the U.S. and abroad by renowned groups such as the New York Philharmonic, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, the USC Thornton Symphony, JACK Quartet violinist Christopher Otto and cellist Kevin McFarland, Grammy-nominated pianist Aron Kallay, the What’s Next? Ensemble, Nouveau Classical Project, the Cornell University Chorus, and the Great Noise Ensemble, among others. In 2015, Adolphe received a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Adolphe is a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles.
Current commissions include a viola concerto for the New York Philharmonic and a large choral work for James Conlon and the Cincinnati May Festival. The viola concerto, for Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, is commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the League of American Orchestras, with generous support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. This commission follows on the heels of the New York Philharmonic premiering Adolphe’s orchestral work Dark Sand, Sifting Light as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL in June 2014. A winner of the international EarShot New Music Readings’ competition, Adolphe’s first orchestral work was hailed as “remarkably assured…an upbeat to something grander” (The New Yorker). Additionally, Adolphe is composing an opera set in present-day Iran with librettist Nahal Navidar.
Adolphe currently pursues a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. Prior teachers include Stephen Hartke, Steven Stucky, and Donald Crockett. Adolphe holds a Master of Music degree in music composition from USC and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and the College Scholar Program from Cornell University.
For more information about Julia Adolphe, visit her website.
Julia Adolphe’s Unearth, Release (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra) received its New York premiere November 17-19, 2016 by the New York Philharmonic, conductor Jaap van Zweden, and Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps as soloist.
Photo: Grant Heger
Melody Eötvös (1984) is a Bloomington IN-based Australian composer whose work draws on both multi-media and traditional instrumental contexts.
She has studied with a variety of composers across the globe, including Gerardo Dirié (Australia), Simon Bainbridge (UK), and, most recently Claude Baker & David Dzubay (USA). She has also studied electronic music with Jeffrey Hass, John Gibson, and Alicyn Warren. Melody has had her music performed by ensembles/orchestras such as the London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian String Quartet, and has participated in several electronic music festivals including SEAMUS 2011 (US), ACMC 2012 (Australia), and ICMC 2011 (New Zealand). Current projects include a Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commission administered by the League of American Orchestras, the EarShot Foundation (world premiere: Carnegie Hall October 23rd 2015), guest composer for the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music 2015, a commissioned composer for the Synergy 40x40 project (Sydney, AUS), was a composer fellow at the Aspen Music Festival & School 2015, and will be a Composer resident for the Copland House Residency in May 2016.
Melody holds a Doctor of Music (2014) from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music USA, and a Master of Music (2008) from the Royal Academy of Music, London UK.
For more information about Melody Eötvös, visit her website.
Melody Eötvös’ Red Dirt | Silver Rain received its world premiere at Carnegie Hall in October 2015, performed by American Composers Orchestra and ACO Music Director and Conductor George Manahan.