Chicago Classical Review founder Lawrence A. Johnson has announced the creation of American Music Project, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting performances of American classical music and the commissioning of new work. The foundation’s first announced commission is Amy Wurtz’s Piano Quintet.
A post on Chicago Classical Review offered further background:
As a “facilitator and encourager of American music,” Johnson said the foundation will fund musical organizations, orchestras, opera companies, chamber ensembles and presenters who take on American repertory for events starting in the fall of 2015. They can submit proposals for American projects and, if they meet the foundation’s criteria, will receive financial support.
“If, for example, somebody wants to put on a festival of American string quartets, or a cycle of American symphonies, we would provide a check to underwrite some of it,” said Johnson.
He hopes to give music organizations room to challenge current conventional wisdom about what kinds of classical music audiences will pay to hear. He said the American Music Project wants to step in where presenters may feel constrained by their budgets and by the risks associated with selling too few tickets to a concert with less-familiar American repertory.
According to the project’s website, the “interim goal for the first year is to raise $500,000 from individuals and foundations with an ultimate aim of creating a standing endowment of $1 million.”
The foundation will officially launch with a concert of American music performed by the Chicago Q Ensemble in Chicago’s Ganz Hall on October 5. Wurtz will join the ensemble at the piano for the performance of her piece.