Program

Amplifying Voices

Amplifying Voices fosters collaboration and collective action between US orchestras and composers toward racial and gender equity in classical music.

Programs
Program

Amplifying Voices

Amplifying Voices fosters collaboration and collective action between US orchestras and composers toward racial and gender equity in classical music.

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Funding Partners

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

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Fostering collaboration toward racial and gender equity.

With over forty-five orchestras in the US and beyond to soon be a part of the program’s eleven consortia, Amplifying Voices facilitates co-commissions and sharing of existing repertoire by BIPOC and women composers. This long-term program aims to increase the support and promotion of under-represented composers, create space for their contributions to artistic-planning at major national orchestras, and make major strides toward transforming the classical canon for future generations.

The program was kick-started by The Sphinx Organization through a generous contribution from the Sphinx Venture Fund, and increasing momentum has made possible by new funding from the Sorel Organization, Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and industry partners ASCAP and Wise Music, which demonstrates recognition amongst orchestras that new and inclusive approaches to programming are critical for the sector’s future relevance.

Support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation will create two new consortia commissioning Katherine Balch and Clarice Assad. Previous support from the Sorel Organization has contributed to two consortia which are commissioning Jessie Montgomery and Nina Shekhar. ASCAP and Wise Music will support the Amplifying Voices Learning Lab, facilitating conversations with composers, orchestras, and industry guests. Anticipated focal points include best approaches to co-commissioning, centering existent repertoire by BIPOC and women composers, and enabling audiences around the country to discover the most exciting music of our time.

Amplifying Voices Consortium

Clarice Assad

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Katherine Balch

New York Philharmonic & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

A BIPOC woman posing with a flute

Valerie Coleman

The Philadelphia Orchestra

A Latinx man waving from the orchestra stage

Juan Pablo Contreras

Las Vegas Philharmonic

Vijay Iyer Portrait Photo: Barbara Rigon

Vijay Iyer

Oregon Symphony

A Cuban woman posing wearing an indigo, silk top

Tania León

Arkansas Symphony

Jessie Montgomery

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

A man posing with hands folded in a black shirt

Brian Raphael Nabors

Berkeley Symphony

Nina Shekhar

YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles)

A BIPOC man sitting outside

Tyshawn Sorey

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

A woman posing with a baritone saxophone in a black-and-white striped shirt, head tilted

Shelley Washington

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Partner Orchestras

Why This Initiative is Needed

It was recently reported that 6.1% of music programmed by US orchestras is by women of color (Composer Diversity Institute)

6% Music by women composers of color

It was reported that only 21.8% of music programed by orchestras was by a living composer (Composer Diversity Institute)

22% Orchestral music by living composers

Only 4.6% of this music was by living women of color (Composer Diversity Institute).

5% Living women composers

Program Media

News and Resources

Funding Partners

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

ASCAP logo

Interested in being part of this initiative?

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