The 18th annual Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute takes place at Orchestra Hall, May 2 through 6
Composers spend one week in Orchestra’s award-winning professional training program under the direction of Kevin Puts, winner of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize
New this season: MusicMakers concert will also be shared live on Twin Cities PBS and via online streaming
The culmination of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 18th annual Composer Institute features performances of new works by seven of the country’s most gifted emerging orchestral composers, plus a behind-the scenes look at the craft of music-making onstage via onstage interviews with each artist. This year’s performance, held at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 6, is led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä for the final time during his tenure with the Orchestra, which ends this summer. For the first time ever the culminating MusicMakers performance will be shared live on Twin Cities PBS (Channel 2), as well as on the Orchestra's website and social media channels and YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio. Brian Newhouse, the Orchestra's associate vice president of individual giving, hosts the television and livestream broadcast.
“This year's winners represent a wide variety of perspectives and artistic voices,” said Puts. “We’re thrilled to share this incredible new music with audiences here at Orchestra Hall and beyond with the first-ever livestream and TV broadcast of this concert.” All seven featured composers will be present to introduce their music onstage at the concert, which will be emceed by Fred Child, who hosts American Public Media’s Performance Today. The participating composers are Henry Dorn, Adeliia Faizullina, Bobby Ge, Molly Joyce, Ryan Lindveit, Nina Shekhar and Sam Wu.
The concert is performed at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, May 6, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $33 to $50. Young listeners ages 6-18 are free with Minnesota Orchestra Hall Pass. Individual tickets are available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, see the information section at the conclusion of this press release.
About the Emerging Composers
Collectively, the program’s seven featured composers have studied at some of the nation’s top universities and conservatories including the Princeton University, Brown University, University of California Berkeley, University of Southern California, Harvard University, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, New York University, Royal Conservatory in The Hague, University of Memphis, the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, University of Virginia and the Juilliard School. In addition, the composers have garnered numerous awards, grants and fellowships from prestigious organizations such as ASCAP, the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, the Radio Orpheus Young Composers Competition, New Music USA, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Jerome Fund/American Composers Forum, Tribeca New Music and the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Henry Dorn’s Transitions explores the mutable passage from life to death after the loss of his mother. Adeliia Faizullina’s Bolghar, a work named for the town located in Tatarstan, is inspired by the ancient city and its natural beauty, while Bobby Ge’s Remember to Have Fun was borne of a mantra the composer used to counteract a self-described “2020 funk.” Molly Joyce’s Over and Under explores the interplay between orchestra and organ, featuring organ soloist Mary Jo Gothmann. An imagined Google Earth travelogue inspired Ryan Lindveit’s Close Up at a Distance, and Nina Shekhar’s Lumina portrays contrasts of light and dark through sharp timbres, cloudy textures and dense harmonies that paint an eerie portrait of shadow. Wind Map by Sam Wu is another work that captures the spirit of movement, travel and journeys across the globe at the intersection of technology—his work paints a musical picture of weather patterns mapped into supercomputers.
Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute History
The Composer Institute, widely recognized as a leading professional training program for emerging symphonic composers, is in its seventh year under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts. The Institute was founded in 2002 as an outgrowth of the Orchestra’s Perfect Pitch program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers launched during the 1995-96 season. Many of the 141 composers who have previously taken part in Perfect Pitch and the Composer Institute have gone on to receive major commissions, awards, grants and additional performances of their works; in the last four years, three Composer Institute alumni, Michael Gilbertson, Ted Hearne and Andrew Norman, have been named as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Music, with Hearne earning that distinction in both 2018 and 2021. At the 2022 Grammy Awards, violinist Jennifer Koh won the award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for an album that included works by 40 contemporary composers, 10 of whom are upcoming or past Composer Institute participants.
The Institute’s seminars bring composers directly in contact with professionals who can offer guidance in areas not typically explored in classroom settings, including aspects of building a career as a composer, legal issues, public speaking and self-publishing music. Presenters this year include Minnesota Orchestra Principal Librarian Maureen Conroy; Orchestra staff members Bonnie Marshall and Sarah Blain Chaplin; composers Katherine Balch, Viet Cuong and Roberto Sierra; and American Public Media’s Performance Today host Fred Child. In addition, Osmo Vänskä and Kevin Puts offer mentoring sessions with each composer.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concert
Friday, May 6, 2022, 8 p.m.
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Kevin Puts, Composer Institute director
Fred Child, host
HENRY DORN, Transitions
ADELIIA FAIZULLINA, Bolghar
BOBBY GE, Remember to Have Fun
MOLLY JOYCE, Over and Under
RYAN LINDVEIT, Close Up at a Distance
NINA SHEKHAR, Lumina
SAM WU, Wind Map
Young Listeners Ages 6-18 free with Hall Pass
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Packages and tickets can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org. For packages, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
The Minnesota Orchestra welcomes, but does not require, the wearing of masks by audiences at this performance. Any changes to this policy will be announced online and by email prior to the performance.
All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Composer Institute is generously sponsored by The Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
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