Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program Awards $181,500

Chamber Music America will award $181,500 in grants for ten commissioning projects in six states. The commissions, made through CMA’s Classical Commissioning Program, are funded by a multi-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The grantees are:

Chiara String Quartet (Lincoln, NE)
A quartet by Huang Ruo that takes its inspiration from wall drawings from various epochs and cultures

Dorian Wind Quintet (New York, NY)
A multi-movement woodwind quintet by composer David Del Tredici, celebrating the group’s 50th anniversary

Ensō Quartet (New York, NY)
A piece for string quartet and electronics by composer Kurt Stallman. The work will be performed in sections throughout an entire concert program, weaving in pieces from the traditional classical repertoire.

Festival of New Trumpet Music and the Meridian Arts Ensemble (New York, NY)
Seven Kings by David Sanford: a multi-movement work for brass quintet, percussion, and jazz trumpeter Dave Ballou

Imani Winds (New York, NY)
A work by Simon Shaheen for woodwind quintet and oud (Arabic lute), incorporating the melodic maqam and rhythmic iqa systems found in Middle Eastern music. Shaheen will perform on the oud as guest artist.

Kronos Quartet (San Francisco, CA)
A work by Steve Reich, in which the quartet will perform live with recordings of itself (as in the composer’s Triple Quartet). The piece will call for the musicians to vocalize as well as play.

PRISM Quartet (Philadelphia, PA)
A work by Bright Sheng for saxophone quartet and an ensemble of Chinese instruments. Featuring guest ensemble Music From China, the piece will explore the unity and disparity of the instruments’ timbres.

Shanghai Quartet (Montclair, NJ)
A work by Lei Liang for string quartet and pipa, based on a melody from the Tang dynasty. Wu Man is the guest pipa player.

Sō Percussion (Brooklyn, NY)
A 25-minute work for percussion quartet by composer Steve Mackey.

Zeitgeist (Saint Paul, MN)
A work by Chinary Ung for Zeitgeist’s instrumental combination (two percussion, piano and clarinet/bass clarinet) that also calls on the musicians to speak and sing.

Since its creation in 1982, the CMA Commissioning Program has made more than 100 grants, including Aaron Jay Kernis’s Pulitzer Prize–winning String Quartet No. 2 (“Musica Instrumentalis”); George Tsontakis’s String Quartet No. 4 (“Beneath Thy Tenderness of Heart”), recipient of the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award; Joan Tower’s Night Fields; Richard Danielpour’s Urban Dances; and Steve Mackey’s Indigenous Instruments. (—Condensed from the press release)