Philadelphia Orchestra adds women composers, including residency for Gabriela Lena Frank

Posted on: September 7, 2018

“The Philadelphia Orchestra on Thursday announced a series of new initiatives bolstering its work with women composers,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (9/6) Philadelphia Inquirer. “For the 2019-20 season … more than half of the orchestra’s subscription programs will feature works by women, starting with a new commission from Imani Winds composer Valerie Coleman…. Orchestra president and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky announced that the orchestra has commissioned new orchestral works from six women whose previously composed scores are being played through by the orchestra in a reading session Thursday morning.… They are: Melody Eötvös, Robin Holcomb, Chen-Hui Jen, Hilary Purrington, Xi Wang, and Nina C. Young. The orchestra has not yet determined when their new pieces will be premiered.” Four of the six composers also previously received commissions through the League of American Orchestras’ Women Composers program. The Philadelphia Orchestra “will commission major new works from other women composers in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, including a piece by Gabriela Lena Frank, [who] will hold the title of composer-in-residence through 2020-21. A new mentoring program for emerging women composers is expected to produce other new orchestral pieces.… Additionally, five women conductors will lead the ensemble in the 2019-20 season.”

Posted September 7, 2018

Pictured: The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin (large photo). Gabriela Lena Frank (inset photo)