Amplifying Voices Presents 13 Orchestral Premieres During the 2022-23 Concert Season

SBO Staff • News • March 2, 2023

The 11 Participating Composers are Clarice Assad, Katherine Balch, Valerie Coleman, Juan Pablo Contreras, Vijay Iyer, Tania León, Jessie Montgomery, Brian Raphael Nabors, Nina Shekhar, Tyshawn Sorey, and Shelley Washington


New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program, which launched in 2020 to foster collaboration and collective action between U.S. orchestras and composers through a network of co-commissions, continues this spring with ten premieres taking place across the country. The program has expanded rapidly to include over forty-five orchestras across the U.S. and beyond.

Amplifying Voices aims to make major strides in diversifying orchestral repertoire. According to the Institute for Composer Diversity’s 2022 Orchestra Repertoire Report, programmed works by women composers and composers of color increased overall from 4.5% in 2015 to 22.5% in 2022. Amplifying Voices is a long-term program which contributes to this momentum, increasing the support and promotion of composers who have been historically marginalized, creating space for their contributions to artistic planning at major national orchestras, and making major strides toward transforming the classical canon for future generations. In addition to facilitating co-commissions, Amplifying Voices also asks orchestras for a commitment to sharing existing repertoire by BIPOC and women composers.

During the 2022-23 concert season, Amplifying Voices will have fostered thirteen orchestral premieres taking place in London and across the U.S., including new works by Juan Pablo Contreras, Vijay Iyer, Tania León, Brian Raphael Nabors, Nina Shekhar, Tyshawn Sorey, and Shelley Washington. Works by Clarice Assad, Katherine Balch, Valerie Coleman, and Jessie Montgomery will be premiered during the 2023-24 concert season. Each of the composer’s pieces will be performed by a minimum of four orchestras over the course of three years.

Participating Composers and Orchestras:

Spring 2023 Amplifying Voices Performances:

  • January 14-16, 2023 – Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago, cellist Inbal Segev and the Oregon Symphony – Portland, OR
  • January 21, 2023 – Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago, cellist Inbal Segev and the Boise Philharmonic – Boise, ID
  • January 26, 2023 – Juan Pablo Contreras’ MeChicano, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra New Orleans, LA
  • February 18, 2023 – Brian Raphael Nabors’ Upon Daybreak, ROCO – Houston, TX
  • February 25, 2023 – Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago, cellist Inbal Segev and the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra – Palos Heights, IL
  • February 25-26, 2023 – Juan Pablo Contreras’ MeChicano, Richmond Symphony – Richmond, VA
  • March 4-5, 2023 – Tania León’s Pasajes, Orlando Philharmonic – Orlando, FL
  • March 16-18, 2023 – Tyshawn Sorey’s Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith), saxophonist Timothy McAllister and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (U.S. premiere) – Atlanta, GA
  • April 27-29, 2023 – Brian Raphael Nabors’ Upon Daybreak, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Spring 2023 TBA – Nina Shekhar, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (world premiere) – Los Angeles, CA

2023-2024 Performances

  • September 30-October 1, 2023 – Juan Pablo Contreras’ MeChicano, California Symphony, Walnut Creek, CA
  • January 8-13, 2024 – Clarice Assad, New Work (world premiere), The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul, MN
  • March 1-2, 2024 – Shelley Washington’s Both, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit, MI
  • May 30-June 2, 2024 – Valerie Coleman’s Concerto for Orchestra (world premiere), The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia, PA
  • May 31-June 2, 2024 – Jessie Montgomery’s Snapshot, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit, MI

To read more about each composer, their pieces, and see a complete list of orchestras participating,

Alongside the co-commissioning program, participating orchestras, composers and industry guests are coming together through the Amplifying Voices Learning Lab. Anticipated focal points of these regular conversations include best approaches to co-commissioning, centering existent repertoire by BIPOC composers, and enabling audiences around the country to discover the most exciting music of our time. The program also purposefully fosters deep collaboration between the composer and orchestras by funding multiple visits with lead orchestras, and encouraging orchestras to include community experiences such as local school visits and education programs as part of their partnerships.

Amplifying Voices is powered by the Sphinx Venture Fund, with additional support from ASCAP, the Sorel Organization, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and Wise Music and The Wise Family Charitable Foundation.

The Amplifying Voices program continues New Music USA’s legacy of connecting living composers and orchestras in the U.S. to create new works. From 2011-2019, New Music USA ran the Music Alive Composer in Residence program with support from the Mellon Foundation. This built on the work of one of New Music USA’s founding organizations, Meet The Composer (MTC), which launched its breakthrough Composer In Residence program in 1982. In its 20-year span, Music Alive, which was run in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, supported 116 composers, 79 orchestras, and 121 distinct residencies.  New Music USA was awarded the Gold Baton from The League of American Orchestras, its highest honor, in 2020 for its outstanding work in the sector.

About New Music USA

New Music USA supports and amplifies the sounds of tomorrow by nurturing the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music for adventurous listeners in the United States and beyond.  We empower and connect US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences by providing funding, fostering new connections, deepening knowledge, and working as an advocate for the field. New Music USA works in collaboration with its community in response to pressing needs and to amplify the diverse voices of music creators. New Music USA envisions a thriving and equitable ecosystem for new music. Amplifying Voices is the next step in New Music USA’s 20 years of support for the orchestra sector in the US.  The program also continues New Music USA’s work to create racial and gender equity in the music industry, alongside programs such as Next Jazz Legacy and Reel Change: The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring.

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