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Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program

The League’s unprecedented 30-orchestra consortium and commissioning program for women and nonbinary composers will effect change on stages nationwide. Six lead orchestras will perform the premieres of six composers’ commissioned works in the 2022-23 or 2023-24 seasons:

An additional 24 orchestras (five orchestras for each composers) will be selected for repeat performances in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commissions Program for women composers (formerly 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.

The Program

Since its inception in 2014, the Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program has shown impressive results:

  • More than forty women composers benefitted from career development via the EarShot Readings
  • Twenty-two composers have now received commissions
  • Twelve premieres completed (premieres of works by Julia Adolphe, Courtney Bryan, Cindy Cox, Melody Eötvös, Stacy Garrop, Robin Holcomb, Chen-Hui Jen, Hannah Lash, Fang Man, Andreia Pinto Correia, Leanna Primiani, and Andrea Reinkemeyer)

Many of the composers have received additional commissions and career opportunities as a direct result of participating in the program. Networking, mentoring, career development, and community engagement opportunities are built into the program, and the composer cohort meets annually at the League’s National Conference.

The program is embedded in EarShot, an initiative of American Composers Orchestra in collaboration with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. Commission recipients are selected from women and non-binary composers who have participated in EarShot residencies.

Meet the Composers

2022 Commission Recipients

Previous Commission Recipients


Banner credit: Premiere of Hannah Lash’s Double Concerto by the Artis-Naples Philharmonic, Arvo Volmer conducting, with Lash and Jeremy Denk as soloists. Courtesy of Artis-Naples.

Photos courtesy of composers, credits available on individual links.

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