American Music Project announces 2015 grant award winners

Nicholas Phillips. Photo: Rachel Schimelman
Nicholas Phillips. Photo: Rachel Schimelman

The winners of the American Music Project grant awards for 2015 are:

Nicholas Phillips, pianist

American P(i)anorama: New Music for a New Canon
National tour and CD

In a follow-up to his “American Vernacular” tour and CD, pianist Nicholas Phillips will embark on a national tour performing keyboard character pieces by prominent American composers from the 20th century to the present day. He hopes that championing this music will help these works to enter the canon long-term. The tour will take him to China in the summer of 2016, and many of these works will also be recorded for an “American P(i)anorama” CD.

Recitals are planned for the 2015-16 season in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Texas, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Composers to be represented include: John Luther Adams (Tukiliit), Samuel Barber (Excursions), Stacy Garrop (Keyboard of the Winds), George Gershwin (Three Preludes), Philip Glass (Wichita Vortex Sutra), Charles Tomlinson Griffes (Roman Sketches), Missy Mazzoli (Heartbreaker), Nico Muhly (A Hudson Cycle), Mark Olivieri (Hommage a trois), Carter Pann (She Steals Me), and Sarah Kirkland Snider (The Currents).

Third Angle New Music
Portland, Oregon

“Radio Happenings: Cage and Feldman, a conversation in words and music”
March 10-11, 2016

In 1966, John Cage and Morton Feldman began recording a series of conversations at WBAI in New York City. Called “Radio Happenings,”,these recordings totaled over six hours of commentary regarding art, artists, music, politics, philosophy, and provide a fascinating insight into the musical culture of the 1960’s avant-garde.

Third Angle New Music will use excerpts from these recordings to provide context for their music, with the voices of the composers enriching the experience of hearing the compositions discussed.

The repertory will include:

John Cage: Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951)
John Cage: Six Melodies for violin and keyboard instrument (1950)
Christian Wolff: Violist piece #1 (1997)
Morton Feldman: Projection 4 (1951)
Morton Feldman: The Possibility of a New Piece for Electric Guitar (1966)

Elgin Symphony Orchestra
Elgin, Illinois

“Connecting with American Music”
2015-16 season

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra will perform one American piece on each concert program throughout the 2015/16 season. In addition to the performances, we will dedicate a webpage to the importance of American music.

Repertory includes:

Ives: Symphony No. 2
Bernstein, Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah”
Ives: Variations on America
Adams: Tromba Lontana
Theofanidis: Muse
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Stookey: The Composer is Dead

Aperio: Music of the Americas
Houston, Texas

Project: “Poetic Twilight” – Songs by Copland, Persichetti, Beach and Ives
November 2015

Pianist Michael Zuraw, and soprano Julia Fox will perform songs and piano works of American composers five times in and around the Houston area.

Repertory includes:

Vincent Persichetti: Six Poems for piano
Vincent Persichetti: Four Emily Dickinson Songs, Op. 77
Aaron Copland: Four Poems of Emily Dickinson
Amy Beach: Four Songs
Charles Ives: Two Songs
Charles Ives: “The Alcotts” from Piano Sonata No. 2

Applications for American Music Project awards for the 2016-17 season will be accepted from January 1 through April 1, 2016.

Anthony McGill to join with JACK for premiere of Gordon Clarinet Quintet

Photo: Katie Smith
Photo: Katie Smith

Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, will join forces with the previously announced JACK Quartet for the American Music Project’s first concert in New York, November 20 at Roulette. The event will feature the world premiere of Geoffrey Gordon’s Clarinet Quintet, the second work commissioned by the Chicago-based project.

The program will also include Earle Brown’s String Quartet, John Cage’s Quartet In Four Parts and John Luther Adams’ The Wind in High Places.

The artists will repeat the program March 6, 2016 in Chicago at Ganz Hall.

The American Music Project (AMP) is a nonprofit foundation created in August of 2014 by Lawrence A. Johnson, music critic and founder of the Classical Review websites, to promote, commission and facilitate performances of music by American classical composers.

Amy Wurtz’s Piano Quintet, the first AMP commission, was premiered in Chicago last October, on a program alongside works of David Diamond and Irving Fine.

The inaugural American Music Project grant awards, which help fund performances of works by American composers, will be announced Monday, August 17. The awards will go to organizations, ensembles and individuals performing American repertory in the 2015-16 season.

AMP grant winners to be announced August 17

Photo: Elliott Kaufmann
Photo: Elliott Kaufmann

The winners of the 2015 American Music Project grant awards will be announced Monday, August 17.

Check back to see if you are among the winners in this inaugural year of AMP grants awarded to organizations performing American music in the 2015-16 season.

Dates and details will also be announced at that time for grant applications for the 2016-17 season.