Chamber Music America (CMA) has announced the recipients of grants supporting the composition of new works and community-based residencies. CMA will distribute a total of $557,000 to 38 ensembles and presenters in 18 states through three of its major grant programs. Through its Classical Commissioning Program, CMA awarded $205,000 to 13 ensembles and presenters, chosen out of 102 applications, for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers. In addition, 10 composer-led jazz ensembles selected from 167 applicants will receive a total of $230,000 from CMA’s New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program. Lastly, 15 grants totaling $122,000 were awarded to ensembles and presenters (from a pool of 62 applicants) for community-engagement activities taking place beyond traditional concert settings.
The new compositions that will result from these commissions span a wide variety of styles and instrumental combinations. Among them are a percussion quartet by Augusta Read Thomas for Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion, and a percussion trio by Kate Soper and Austin’s Line Upon Line. Mario Davidovsky will compose a new work for The International Contemporary Ensemble and Daniel Godfrey will compose a new work for the Cassatt String Quartet, while Mary Ellen Childs will create a work for violin solo and trombone quartet for Guidonian Hand with special guest Mary Rowell. The genre-bending composer/improviser/oboist Kyle Bruckmann will create new music for his Oakland-based group Wrack, which has now expanded to a septet. Pianist Andrew Oliver will compose music for the Portland-based Kora Band, an ensemble incorporating West African instruments, and Steve Lehman will craft new work for his octet which combines post-bop jazz with spectralism. In addition, grant support from CMA will help make possible a wide variety of music programs across the country including: student coaching at Bang On A Can’s annual contemporary music festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Massachusetts; Da Camera of Houston’s day of free public performances at The Menil Collection in celebration of the John Cage centenary which will feature the Meehan/Perkins Duo; workshops at Jersey City’s Infinity Institute by Jason Kao Hwang and Edge that will involve bucket drums, claves, rap, paintings and website interactions; plus community concerts in a youth detention residence and a tribal meetinghouse in Juneau, Alaska by saxophonist Grace Kelly’s Quintet (as part of Juneau Jazz & Classics). A complete list of awardees with complete project descriptions is available as a PDF document from the Chamber Music America website.
The grantees were selected this spring by independent review panels of musicians and presenters. The Classical Commissioning Program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund. New Jazz Works is made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Residency Partnership Program is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.