Category: Headlines

California Sunshine: Remembering Bobby Hutcherson (1941-2016)  

1963 black and white Blue Note Records photo by Francis Wolff of Bobby Hutcherson playing vibraphone during a recording session.

[Ed. note: Los Angeles-born composer and vibraphonist Robert “Bobby” Hutcherson passed away from emphysema in his home in Montara, California, on August 15, 2016. He recorded a total of 43 albums as a leader, 23 of which were released on Blue Note Records, and appeared as a sideman on more than 100 others, among them many of the seminal 1960s Blue Note LPs, including Out to Lunch (1964), Eric Dolphy’s landmark final recording as a leader in the United States, Joe Henderson’s Mode for Joe (1966), Grant Green’s Idle Moments (1963), Grachan Moncur III’s Evolution (1963), and three albums by Jackie McLean. His own albums ranged from numerous sessions for small combos to a live Hollywood Bowl performance featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic. One of his most unusual recordings was a 1982 Contemporary album, Solo/Quartet, which juxtaposed a quartet session—featuring pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Billy Higgins—with a series of multi-tracked original compositions in which Hutcherson performed on vibes, marimba, xylophone, bells, chimes, and boo-bam. In his later years, Hutcherson appeared on Lou Rawls’s At Last (1989), Donald Byrd’s gospel-tinged A City Called Heaven (1991), Abbey Lincoln’s Wholly Earth (1999), and two albums by Kenny Garrett—Happy People (2001) and Beyond the Wall (2006). He was also a founding member of the SFJAZZ Collective, playing with them from 2004 to 2007 and appearing on their first six albums. On his final recording as a leader, Enjoy the View (2014), he was joined by saxophonist David Sanborn, drummer Bill Hart, and Joey DeFrancesco who performed on both trumpet and organ in a collection of eight original compositions by various members of the group. In 2010, Hutcherson was named an NEA Jazz Master.

In Andrew Gilbert’s August 15 obituary of Bobby Hutcherson, he quotes an earlier interview he did with Hutcherson in which the musician credited Joe Chambers, a percussionist and composer who appeared on ten of Hutcherson’s records as a leader, with “encouraging him to start generating his own music as a vehicle for documenting creative evolution—‘in order to complete your cycle you have to write.’” The second of those Hutcherson albums featuring Chambers, Components (released in 1966), juxtaposes a side of Hutcherson originals (including what is perhaps his most famous one, “Little B’s Poem”) with a side of Chambers originals. So it seemed most appropriate for us to approach Chambers, who is currently writing his autobiography, to share his thoughts about his long-term collaborator and friend.—FJO]

It is with a heavy heart, and a feeling of hesitation and great loss, that I approach this essay. In fact, I decided to pause writing to look at a video of Bobby with a quartet just sent to me.

Bobby arrived in New York around 1961, before me, touring with the Al Grey-Billy Mitchell group. I first met him in the summer of 1962 when he was performing with the Jackie McLean Quartet at the Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. The group was Jackie McLean, Eddie Khan, Tony Williams, and Bobby Hutcherson. The absence of piano placed Hutcherson in the role of accompanist as well as soloist. To perform that role as a mallet player requires the skill to manipulate four to five mallets.  He was the first vibist I ever saw do this, well before Gary Burton appeared on the scene.

Another observation: Hutcherson had his own distinct tone and sound on the instrument, very different from the prominent mallet players of the day Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson.  When I made the move to New York from D.C. in the fall of 1963, I crossed paths with him again. Eric Dolphy assembled a group consisting of Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Richard Davis, and myself on drums.  We did a concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music that was recorded live.  Several producers are, to this day, looking for those tapes; I have no idea where these tapes are.

I became a kind of house recording drummer for Blue Note Records after joining Freddie Hubbard’s group in 1964 and recording Hubbard’s Breaking Point. After that, Bobby and I were teamed on recordings led by Joe Henderson (Mode for Joe) and Andrew Hill (Compulsion), then subsequently nine Bobby Hutcherson-led recordings for Blue Note. After the albums Components, Dialogue, and Now, a working group consisting of Harold Land, Stanley Cowell, Reggie Johnson, and myself was formed around 1968. Alfred Lion and Frank Wolf at Blue Note did not care what you played, as long as they could extract a song from the program that could be put on the jukebox. The jukebox industry of the 1950s and ’60s is part of what kept jazz very prominently in the public eye, way more in those days than now.

We used to call Bobby “Tranquil,” he was so easy going and even tempered—completely opposite of what was going on in the country and the world in the 1960s.

We used to call Bobby “Tranquil,” he was so easy going and even tempered—completely opposite of what was going on in the country and the world in the 1960s. And working with him was just as I described his personality. It was at this time, well before the inception of the percussion group M’Boom, that I began to consider learning and performing on mallets. I attribute this to Bobby Hutcherson. He often asked me for drum exercise books; I wondered why.  He said it was “to strengthen his wrists and fingers.”  He also suggested we form a group of just drums and mallets, a precursor to the concept realized by Max Roach five years later, in the group M’Boom. He relocated to San Francisco around the “flower children” time. It’s a wonder he stayed in New York as long as he did; he was truly California sunshine.

A lot has been written and said about his playing but not enough about his composing and musical philosophy. To me, he is one of the most important conceptualizers of music in the last half of the 20th century. His compositions are a marvel of sophistication, harmonic and melodic innovation, and imagination. Bobby Hutcherson was a visionary musician.

The last time I was in touch with Bobby was last year when I was in San Diego. Even in 2015, Bobby was not in good shape; he was barely able to talk, suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as emphysema. We just talked about the old days, as best as he could. But it was not good for me to see him like that.

Goodbye, Bobby. Someday we will meet again.

1965 black and white Blue Note Records photo by Francis Wolff of Joe Chambers playing drums during a recording session.

Photo of Joe Chambers by Francis Wolff taken during the 1965 recording sessions for Wayne Shorter’s Blue Note LP, Et Cetera, released in 1980.(Courtesy of Mosaic Images.)

Wadada Leo Smith Receives $25K Mohn Career Achievement Award

Wadada sitting and leaning his head on his left hand. Photo by Maarit Kyto Harju, courtesy Braithwaite & Katz Communications.

Composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has received the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.” The $25,000 Award was announced by the museum on August 16 and presented in conjunction with the exhibition Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, through, only, organized by Hammer curator Adam Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, director of education and associate curator, Renaissance Society.

“The jury wants to acknowledge Wadada Leo Smith’s outstanding achievements as a musician, his influential work as a teacher and a mentor for younger artists in Los Angeles, and the decades-long expansion of an inventive, complex and layered system of notation simultaneously interrogating the pictoral and the performative,” stated Juse Luis Blondet, curator, Special Initiatives, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“I’m so honored to have won this award,” said Smith.  “I’m so happy that my scores are being viewed as works of art.  That means the world to me.”

Smith, who turns 75 in December 2016, recently received a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and received an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was honored as Faculty Emeritus. He maintains an active touring and recording schedule. His latest epic recording America’s National Parks—a six-movement suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of our nation’s public landscapes and featuring pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Pheeroan akLaff, and cellist Ashley Walters—will be released October 14, 2016 on Cuneiform Records.  Later this year, TUM Records will release Wadada Leo Smith: Nagwa featuring Smith with guitarists Michael Gregory Jackson, Henry Kaiser, Brandon Ross and Lamar Smith, plus Bill Laswell on electric bass, Pheeroan akLaff on drums, and Adam Rudolph on percussion. Coming on TUM in early 2017 will be Alone: Reflections and Meditations on Monk, a solo recording by Smith. Smith’s 2016 schedule includes performances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh International LiveJazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Vision Festival, Festival Suoni Per il Pipolo, Summer Stage, NYC and the premiere of his opera /cantata Rosa Parks at the FONT Festival.

In May 2012, an extensive conversation with Wadada Leo Smith was published on NewMusicBox. The entire transcript of the conversation is available here.

A conversation with Frank J. Oteri at the Affinia Gardens Hotel in New York City
December 14, 2011—11:00 a.m.
Video presentation and photography by Molly Sheridan
Transcribed by Julia Lu

In addition to the Mohn Award for Career Achievement, there are two other Mohn awards. Dancer and choreographer Adam Linder also received the Mohn Award for Artistic Excellence and Kenzi Shiokava received the Public Recognition Award. These three awards, which total $150,000, are among the largest art prizes dedicated to recognizing the work of emerging and under-recognized artists from the greater Los Angeles region. A jury of professional curators selected the Artistic Excellence and Career Achievement awards while the award for Public Recognition was determined by on-site voting from June 11 through August 14, 2016. The jury included: Ingrid Schaffner, curator, 57th Carnegie International, 2018, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Mika Yoshitake, associate curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and Jose Luis Blondet, curator, Special Initiatives, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. All three awards were once again funded through the generosity of Los Angeles philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn and the Mohn Family Foundation as part of Made in L.A., the Hammer’s biennial exhibition series highlighting emerging and under-recognized artists from the Los Angeles region.

(—from the press release)

Carlos Simon Wins $15,000 ACO Underwood Emerging Composer Commission

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) has awarded composer Carlos Simon its 2016 Underwood Commission, bringing him $15,000 for a work that will be given its world premiere performance by ACO on May 23, 2017 at Symphony Space in New York City. Chosen from seven finalists during ACO’s 25th Underwood New Music Readings on June 13-14, 2016, Simon won the top prize with his work Plagues of Egypt.

Composer, arranger and performer Carlos Simon combines the influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism in his music. Simon was named the winner of the 2015 Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest. Serving as music director and keyboardist for GRAMMY Award winner Jennifer Holliday, he has performed with the Boston Pops Symphony, Jackson Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony. Simon is currently earning his Doctorate Degree at the University of Michigan, where he has studied with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers. He received his Master’s Degree at Georgia State University studying with Nickitas Demos and earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Morehouse College studying with Robert Tanner. In 2011, he was on faculty at Morehouse College, teaching music theory. For the 2015-2016 season, Carlos Simon served as the young composer-in-residence for the Detroit Chamber Strings and Winds.

Upon winning the Underwood commission, Carlos Simon said, “I am extremely grateful to be chosen for this prestigious opportunity. As a composer, there is no greater honor than to express my gifts through such amazingly talented musicians. I can’t wait to work with Maestro Manahan and ACO.” ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel added, “Carlos Simon’s score was rich, colorful, and bold, brimming with dramatic urgency.”

In addition, for the seventh year, audience members at the Underwood New Music Readings had a chance to make their voices heard through the Audience Choice Award. The winner this year was composer Paul Frucht, for his piece Dawn, written for his middle school assistant principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in 2012’s shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. As the winner, Frucht will compose an original mobile phone an original mobile phone ringtone which will be available to everyone who voted, free of charge.

(—from the press release)

Chamber Music America Announces $483,000 in Grants for New Works

Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble music professionals, today announced the recipients of its 2016 commissioning programs, supporting the creation of new works for small ensembles. CMA will distribute a total of $483,100 to 21 ensembles through two of its major grant programs: New Jazz Works, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Classical Commissioning, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The ensembles selected this year reflect the diverse array of styles performed by small ensembles in the U.S. today, ranging from classical/contemporary keyboard sextet to jazz piano-violin duo to traditional wind, string, vocal, and jazz quartets. Independent peer panels of jazz and classical musicians selected the grantees in their respective programs in the spring. A list of grantees, composers, and instrumentation follows:

New Jazz Works
(Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation)

A total of $272,000 was awarded to nine jazz ensembles through the New Jazz Works program, which supports the creation of new works by professional U.S.-based jazz artists and helps assure that these compositions will be heard through live performances and recordings.

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet (Oakland, CA)
Composer: Ambrose Akinmusire
Instrumentation: Trumpet, piano/keyboards, bass, drums

Geof Bradfield Ensemble (Chicago, IL)
Composer: Geof Bradfield
Instrumentation: Tenor saxophone/bass clarinet, flute/tenor saxophone, alto saxophone/clarinet, trumpet, trombone, guitar/live electronics, bass, drums

Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman DUO (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Sylvie Courvoisier
Instrumentation: Piano, violin

Musae (Union City, NJ)
Composer: Roman Filiu O’Reilly
Instrumentation: Alto saxophone, tenor saxophone/vocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussion

Ryan Keberle and Catharsis (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Ryan Keberle
Instrumentation: Trombone/melodica, voice, trumpet, bass, drums

Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Chris Lightcap
Instrumentation: Bass, saxophones, guitars, keyboards, drums

Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra (Baltimore, MD)
Composer: Todd Marcus
Instrumentation: Bass clarinet, alto saxophone/flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, drums

Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures (Maplewood, NJ)
Composer: Adam Rudolph
Instrumentation: Multiple percussion instruments, thumb piano, sintir, cornet/flugelhorn, multiple woodwinds, electronic keyboards, guitar, bass

Wayne Shorter Quartet (Los Angeles, CA)
Composer: Wayne Shorter
Instrumentation: Soprano/tenor saxophone, piano, bass, drums

Classical Commissioning
(Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

Twelve grants totaling $211,100 have been awarded through the Classical Commissioning program, which provides support for U.S.-based professional classical and world music ensembles and presenters for the creation and performance of new chamber works by American composers.

andPlay (New York, NY)
Composer: Ravi Kittappa
Instrumentation: Violin, viola

District5 (College Park, MD)
Composer: Evis Sammoutis
Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon

Grand Band (New York, NY)
Composer: Missy Mazzoli
Instrumentation: Six pianos

Horszowski Trio (New York, NY)
Composer: Andreia Pinto-Correia
Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano

loadbang (New York, NY)
Composer: Mark Applebaum
Instrumentation: Trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, baritone voice

Mantra Percussion (Woodside, NY)
Composer: Aaron Siegel
Instrumentation: Multiple percussion instruments, plus guest woodwinds

New York Polyphony (Brooklyn, NY)
Composer: Gregory Spears
Instrumentation: Countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass

Projeto Arcomusical (DeKalb, IL)
Composer: Elliot Cole
Instrumentation: Six berimbaus

Quince (Chicago, IL)
Composer: LJ White
Instrumentation: Three sopranos, one mezzo-soprano, electronics

Splinter Reeds (Oakland, CA)
Composer: Sky Macklay
Instrumentation: Clarinet, oboe, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, bassoon

Thalea String Quartet (San Francisco, CA)
Composer: Vincent Calianno
Instrumentation: Two violins, viola, violoncello, video playback with fixed 3-channel soundtrack

thingNY (Astoria, NY)
Composer: Rick Burkhardt
Instrumentation: Soprano, clarinet, saxophone, violin, percussion, double bass, plus speaking and singing by all ensemble members

Chamber Music America’s commissioning programs are also supported by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Amphion Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the Chamber Music America Commissioning Endowment Fund. More information about Chamber Music America’s grant programs, including past grantees and projects, is available on their website.

(–from the press release)

NYFA and EtM Announce Fellowships and Residencies to NY Composers

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the recipients and finalists of its Artists’ Fellowship Program. The organization has awarded unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, totalling $647,000 to 98 artists (including five collaborations) throughout New York State. Finalists, who do not receive a cash award, benefit from a range of other NYFA services.

A list of the fellows and finalists in the area of music/sound includes:


Gordon Beeferman (New York)
Lisa Bielawa (New York)
Anthony G. Coleman (New York)
Joe Diebes (New York)
Du Yun (New York)
Jeffrey Fairbanks (Queens)
Randy Gibson (Kings)
Stephanie Griffin (New York)
Warp Trio – Joshua Henderson/Mikael Darmanie/Ju Young Lee (New York)
Sarah Hennies (Tompkins)
Molly Herron (New York)
Eli Keszler (Kings)
M. Lamar (Kings)
Qasim Ali Naqvi (Kings)
Angélica Negrón (New York)
Sam Newsome (New York)
Jeff Talman (Bronx)
Max Vernon (Kings)


Andrew Drury (Kings)
Anthony Gatto (New York)
Scott Wollschleger (Kings)

Music / Sound Panelists

Laura Andel (Kings)
Christina Campanella (New York)
Daniel Davis (Broome)
Satoshi Kanazawa (Queens)

*Above image clockwise from top left: Du Yun, Lisa Bielawa, Randy Gibson, Molly Herron, Gordon Beeferman, and Angélica Negrón.

(More information available via the New York Foundation for the Arts)

con ed residencies

Clockwise from top left: Tidtaya Sinutoke, Kathleen Tagg, Doug Balliett, Volker Goetze, and Lea Bertucci.

Exploring the Metropolis, Inc. has announced their 2016-17 Con Edison Composers-in-Residence awardees. Five New York-based composers, covering a wide range of styles, have each been selected for a six-month residency in one of EtM’s partnering cultural or community facilities in addition to a $2,500 stipend. The list of recipients and their host facility includes:

Doug Balliett
Residency: Bloomingdale School of Music

Lea Bertucci
Residency: Queens Museum

Volker Goetze
Residency: Turtle Bay Music School

Tidtaya Sinutoke
Residency: Flushing Town Hall

Kathleen Tagg
Residency: Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Panelists were: Eve Beglarian, Domenica Fossati, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Kamala Sankaram.

(More information available via Exploring the Metropolis)

New Music USA Awards $310,820 to 60 Projects

New Music USA has announced its sixth round of project grants awards, totaling $310,820 in funding to support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The 60 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element. Explore and follow the newly awarded projects to receive email updates as they unfold.

To date, an additional $27,205 over their program’s original budget was made available through the actions of New Music Connect: The Network for Friends of New Music. This additional investment adds support to projects qualified for funding as part of our grant program’s panel process. New Music Connect is designed to connect and engage individuals from across the United States to advocate for and empower the new music field.

In response to feedback from artists who were surveyed following the two inaugural rounds of the program, the sixth round continued to include a special focus on requests of $3,000 and below. Approximately 43% of grants awarded were in this category. The next round of project grants will open for requests in December 2016. New Music USA’s project grants program, launched in October 2013, has now distributed $1,793,161 in support of 343 projects.

The complete list of awardees as well as additional information about New Music USA’s project grants is available on New Music USA’s website.

(-from the press release)


2017 NEA Jazz Masters Fellows Announced

NEA logo

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Fellows, which is the United States government’s highest honor in jazz. Five individuals (four musicians and one advocate)—vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, composer/pianist Dick Hyman, composer/bassist Dave Holland, composer/organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and jazz historian Ira Gitler—will be recognized for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. Each will receive a $25,000 award and be honored at a tribute concert on Monday, April 3, 2017, produced in collaboration with the Kennedy Center, which will be free and open to the public and also available through a live web stream.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “For 35 years, the National Endowment for the Arts has celebrated jazz, one of our nation’s most important cultural contributions, by honoring those who have dedicated their lives to this music. I am pleased to welcome these five individuals with their artistry, energy, and commitment to jazz to the NEA Jazz Masters family.”

A collage of photos of the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters

Bridgewater is a daring performer of great depth whose singing talents have earned her both a Tony and multiple Grammy Awards. In addition, her commanding personality made her a natural for hosting the award-winning National Public Radio syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater from 2001 to 2014.

Holland is one of the most versatile bassists in jazz, working across different styles seamlessly, from traditional to avant-garde jazz to world and folk music. He is also an accomplished composer and bandleader, bringing together musicians of exceptional talent to perform his intricate compositions. In a career spanning five decades, he has continued to evolve musically with each new project while honing his instantly identifiable sound.

Hyman is a piano virtuoso who has been known for playing in any style he wants. A masterful improviser, he is also a composer of concertos and chamber music, and the soundtrack composer/arranger for more than a dozen Woody Allen films. In addition, he launched the acclaimed Jazz in July series at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and served as its artistic director for 20 years.

Smith is a master Hammond B3 jazz organist and composer who, in a career spanning more than 50 years, has been featured on more than 70 jazz, blues, and rhythm-and-blues recordings. He is considered one of the premier purveyors of funk/soul jazz.

Gitler is an American jazz historian, journalist, educator, and author who has written several books about jazz and hundreds of liner notes for jazz recordings. He has also written for many jazz publications, and served as associate editor of Downbeat during the 1960s. In the 1980s and ’90s he produced concerts for George Wein’s New York jazz festivals. Gitler also taught jazz history at several colleges and is considered one of the great historians and champions of the music.

Each year since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters award. With this new class, the NEA has awarded 145 fellowships to great figures in jazz. NEA Jazz Master Fellowships are bestowed on living individuals on the basis of nominations from the public including the jazz community. The NEA encourages nominations of a broad range of men and women who have been significant to the field of jazz, through vocals, instrumental performance, creative leadership, and education. The annual award for a non-performing jazz advocate, bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz, is named in honor of poet, music critic and historian A.B. Spellman who served as an NEA Administrator from 1975 to 2005. The NEA also supports the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, an effort to document the lives and careers of NEA Jazz Masters. In addition to transcriptions of the comprehensive interviews, the website also includes audio clips with interview excerpts. This project has transcribed the oral histories of more than 90 NEA Jazz Masters. The NEA is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters (deadline: December 31, 2016). Visit for more information and to submit a nomination.

(—from the press release)


New Music USA Announces the Inaugural Impact Fund Cohort

New Music USA announces the inaugural cohort of the NYC New Music Impact Fund. The Impact Fund, a new project of New Music USA, represents the first major effort to aggregate and amplify the voice of the New York new music community online. It supports new residency relationships, provides general operating support, and leverages New Music USA’s online platform to share events and news with a growing fan base.   


Sign up to stay in tune with the Impact Fund cohort and get all their latest news and events (concerts, collaborations, residencies, album release parties, and much more) in your inbox. Subscribe here!

Together, New Music USA and the Impact Fund cohort will tackle challenges facing the NYC new music community today, create a vibrant public identity for the sector, build connections and collaborations, and find innovative solutions to the need for increased performance and rehearsal space. Follow the cohort and help make new music in the city more visible and accessible for all!

About The New York City New Music Impact Fund

The New York City New Music Impact Fund is a new program, supported by a three-year, $495,000 grant from The Scherman Foundation’s Axel and Katherine Rosin Fund, that distributes general operating and residency grants to smaller new music ensembles, venues, and presenters (many of which are artist-led) and uses New Music USA’s web platform to create a home for the community and market their work in new and creative ways.

The panelists for the inaugural cohort were:

  • Patrick Castillo, composer and executive director of Hotel Elefant
  • Laura Kaminsky, composer
  • Allison Loggins-Hull, flutist and co-founder Flutronix, composer, and educator
  • Kristin Marting, artistic director of HERE
  • Ryan Muncy, saxophonist, director of institutional giving, and co-director OpenICE with ICE
  • Kathleen Supové, pianist
  • Yulun Wang, owner of Pi Records

2016 Pew Arts Grants Announced

Pew 2016 Grants

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has announced their 2016 grants in support of the Philadelphia region’s cultural organizations and artists. Fifty three grants totaling more than $10 million will provide funding for twelve new Pew Fellowships for individual artists working in a variety of disciplines; thirty six Project grants for the presentation of exceptional cultural programs offered to a wide range of audiences; and five Advancement grants to support bold organizational initiatives led by exemplary arts and culture organizations.

Grants awarded to those working in the area of new American music include:

2016 Pew Fellows

Andrea Clearfield
Christopher Colucci
Matthew Levy
Jymie Merritt

2016 Pew Project Grants

That Which Is Fundamental

The Anchoress

Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016

Philadelphia Real Book Concerts – New Music in Jazz and Blues

Breath Beneath

Symphony for a Broken Orchestra

2016 Pew Advancement Grant


(–From the press release. Read the full announcement here.)

Opera Philadelphia Names Rene Orth 6th Composer in Residence

Rene Orth

Opera Philadelphia, in collaboration with Music-Theatre Group in New York, has announced that composer Rene Orth has been selected as its sixth composer in residence. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the position combines an individualized plan of study with a living stipend and health benefits.

Orth’s appointment began on June 1, 2016. She joins composers in residence David T. Little, who was appointed in June 2014, and David Hertzberg, who was appointed in June 2015. Composers Missy Mazzoli, Lembit Beecher, and Andrew Norman have all completed their residencies with Opera Philadelphia.

Originally from Dallas, Orth recently completed her studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she held the Edward B. Garrigues Fellowship and studied with David Ludwig, Jennifer Higdon, and Richard Danielpour. Her chamber opera Empty the House, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, received its world premiere with Curtis Opera Theatre in a sold-out run in January 2016. The piece was also selected to be a part of Fort Worth Opera’s FRONTIERS showcase in May 2016.

Orth is a recipient of a 2016 OPERA America Discovery Grant for Female Composers, which will help provide funding for the development of Machine, a new chamber opera with librettist Jason Kim. In 2014, Washington National Opera commissioned Orth for a chamber opera, An American Man. With a libretto by Jason Kim, the work premiered at the Kennedy Center as part of WNO’s American Opera Initiative.

(–From the press release. Read the full announcement here.)