MUSIC ALIVE Residencies Unite Orchestras and Composers



Nine American composers and eight American symphony orchestras are joining forces for the fourth round of MUSIC ALIVE—Composers and Orchestras Together residencies to take place in the 2003-04 season. Sponsored jointly by the American Symphony Orchestra League and Meet The Composer, the program pairs composers and orchestras in a variety of activities ranging from performances and collaboration in creative planning to advocacy for programming of contemporary music within orchestra organizations and with the concert-attending public.

Since its inception in 1999, MUSIC ALIVE has fostered 28 residencies that have teamed up 25 orchestras with 34 composers. Participating orchestras have come from a variety of geographic locations and range in budget-size including youth orchestras, community ensembles, and large symphony orchestras. Composers, in turn, have come from equally varying backgrounds from Pulitzer Prize winners to emerging composers. The residencies generally last between 2 to 3 weeks during which composers engage in preparation of their works for performance and various community-based outreach projects.


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Composer Dorothy Chang

Dorothy Chang, an Indiana-based composer, will be spending three weeks in Albany, NY, with the Albany Symphony Orchestra (a second-time MUSIC ALIVE participant.) Musical projects for her residency include a newly-revised orchestral work called Short Stories, a new chamber piece for 15 members of the Albany Symphony, and a work for flute ensemble as part of the high school outreach program. “What I find to be so exciting about this residency is that it incorporates so many things that benefit all parties involved.” While obviously her own development as a composer will benefit from “the ongoing relationship with an ensemble–the opportunity to get to know the orchestra and interact with the performers during the composition process,” Chang is also looking forward to being involved with the community as part of the residency. “I had a new work performed by the Albany Symphony this past December and visited the area for the first time. I am now even more excited for this upcoming residency because of the people I met. Many audience members were not only receptive to but outright enthusiastic about new music. What a treat for a composer to work with an orchestra with such an appreciative audience!”

Jesse Rosen, chief program officer at the League, and Heather Hitchins, executive director of Meet The Composer, echo Chang’s excitement about the program pointing to an “encouraging trend of significantly increased programming of works by living composers by American orchestras, as well as dramatically enhanced audience receptivity to these new works. MUSIC ALIVE has been an important catalyst in propelling this trend, and reaffirms our belief that when orchestras draw upon the manifold strengths of composers and engage them as artistic collaborators, new music can thrive.”

This round’s participants include orchestras in Alabama, Indiana, California, Mississippi, Vermont, New York, and Washington State and involve composers ranging in age from 30 to 67. A complete list of residencies follows, but for more detailed information on each composer, including photos and audio samples, visit the Meet the Composer website at http://www.meetthecomposer.org/whatsnew.htm.

2003-2004 MUSIC ALIVE Residencies

Albany Symphony Orchestra, NY and Dorothy Chang, b. 1970 (3 weeks)
American Composers Orchestra, NY and Alvin Singleton, b. 1940 (2 weeks)
American Composers Orchestra, NY and Anthony Davis, b. 1951 (2 weeks)
Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, CA and Naomi Sekiya, b. 1969 (3 weeks)
Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, IN and David Ott, b. 1947 (3 weeks)
Meridian Symphony Orchestra, MS and Samuel Jones, b. 1935 (3 weeks)
Mobile Symphony, AL and Kenji Bunch, b. 1973 (2 weeks)
Seattle Symphony Orchestra, WA and Chen Yi, b. 1953 (2 weeks)
Vermont Symphony Orchestra, VT and David Ludwig, b. 1972 (2 weeks)