Amplifying Voices fosters collaboration and collective action between US orchestras and composers toward racial and gender equity in classical music.
Fostering collaboration toward racial and gender equity.
With over thirty US orchestras signed up to one of the program’s eight consortia, Amplifying Voices facilitates co-commissions and sharing of existing repertoire by BIPOC 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.
This increasing momentum, made possible by new funding from the Sorel Organization, Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and industry partners ASCAP and Wise Music, demonstrates recognition amongst orchestras that new and inclusive approaches to programming are critical for the sector’s future relevance. They join The Sphinx Organization which kick-started this initiative with a generous contribution from the Sphinx Venture Fund.
Support from the Sorel Organization has contributed to two new consortia led by Dallas Symphony and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) which will each commission a woman of color. Support from Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation will also contribute to two additional new consortia, to be determined, each commissioning an emerging woman composer. 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 composers, and enabling audiences around the country to discover the most exciting music of our time.
Why This Initiative is Needed
Only 1.8% of music programmed by US orchestras was by women in 2017 (NPR).
More recently it was reported that only 16% of music programed by orchestras was by a living composer.
Only 6% of this music was by BIPOC composers (Composer Diversity Institute).
Amplifying Voices Consortium
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Las Vegas Philharmonic
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
“It has always been a goal of mine to champion composers that look like me, that speak to the range of today’s experiences, and that can offer diverse perspectives for our audiences… They can bring unique color and life to the ever-growing musical canon.”
Joseph Young, Music Director, Berkeley Symphony
“At a time when bold solidarity is needed... Amplifying Voices is an affirmation that Black Lives do indeed matter and should be represented within this sacred field.”
Valerie Coleman, Composer, Amplifying Voices
“This groundbreaking work will help to lay the foundation for barriers to be broken and [for] the eradication of stigmas that have plagued our field for many years. To be a part of that change is an affirmation of everything I’ve worked for and continue to work for.”
Brian Raphael Nabors, Composer, Amplifying Voices
News and Resources
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.