Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Announces Project 440

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Have you ever voted for a Dancing with the Stars couple or texted in support for your favorite American Idol contestant? Whether you’re a long-time participant in this cultural zeitgeist or have purposely avoided the pop-culture phenomenon, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is offering a new music spin on the model. In honor of their 40th anniversary, they are commissioning four new works to be premiered during their 2011-2012 season, but they are asking the public to weigh in on the selection of the composers. Under the banner of “Orpheus Project 440″ and in partnership with the NYC-based radio station WQXR, background, photos, and sound samples for 60 composers have been posted online and the floodgates are open for public commentary.

You can listen and comment here.

After a few rounds of whittling down the pool (August 4 and September 7), a panel of industry professionals will select the final four composers and announce the results on October 12.

Composer nominees are:

A.J. McCaffrey, Aaron Grad, Alex Mincek, Alexandre Lunsqui, Amy Beth Kirsten, Andrew Norman, Andy Akiho, Ann Millikan, Anthony Cheung, Beata Moon, Benjamin Ellin, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Lee, Christopher Trapani, Clint Needham, Conrad Tao, Corey Dargel, Cornelius Dufallo, Cynthia Wong, Daniel Felsenfeld, Daniel Wohl, David Leisner, David Little, David Moore, David Wolff, Devin Farney, Donnacha Dennehy, Dylan Mattingly, Eric Guinivan, Ethan Wickman, Gabriella Smith, James Lee III, John Orfe, Jonathan Pieslak, Jonathan Russell, Judd Greenstein, Laura Andel, Marcos Balter, Martin Kennedy, Matt Marks, Missy Mazzoli, Paola Prestini, Paula Matthusen, Polina Nazaykinskaya, Preben Antonsen, Richard Carrick, Robin Estrada, Sean Shepherd, Ted Hearne, Thomas W. Hojnacki, Timothy Andres, Tristan Perich, Tyondai Braxton, Wang Jie, Wu Wei, Wycliff Gordon, Yotam Haber, Yu-Hui Chang, Yao Chen, and Zibuokle Martinaityte

Members of the nominating panel and selection committee include composers Michael Gordon, Fred Lerdahl, and Christopher Theofanidis, WNYC and WQXR producers Limor Tomer, Terrance McKnight, and John Schaefer, Alarm Will Sound artistic director Alan Pierson, and Orpheus members Eric Bartlett, Maureen Gallagher, and Renee Jolles.

It was also announced yesterday that Graham Parker, executive director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for the past eight years, is going to become the new vice president of Classical WQXR 105.9 FM and WQXR online.

—MS