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From left to right: TJ Cole, Tyler Taylor, and Lisa Bielawa

Kentucky’s Louisville Orchestra Launches Inaugural Composers Program

Titled the “Creators Corps,” the orchestra’s new residency program has named three composers to take part as of September 1, 2022


Established by the Louisville Orchestra (LO) and its music director Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra Creators Corps residency program aims to change traditional commissioning structures with new models for collaborating with modern symphony orchestras. Its inaugural participants are Lisa Bielawa, TJ Cole, and Tyler Taylor.

Beginning his eighth season with LO this September, Abrams received 186 applications for the first edition of Creators Corps.

“I was overwhelmed by the diverse talent,” he stated in the press release. “I believe this reflects the widespread desire for artists to build deeper and more impactful relationships with civic institutions and the communities they represent.”

Composer, producer, and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in musical composition. Her music has been described by the New York Times as “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart.” She is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts & Letters’ 2017 Music Award and 2020 OPERA America Grant for Female Composers, plus was Artist-in-Residence at Kaufman Music Center for the 2020/21 season.

American composer TJ Cole has been commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Time For Three, among many others. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy, their mentors include John Boyle Jr., Jennifer Higdon, David Ludwig, and Richard Danielpour. 

A Louisville native, Tyler Taylor is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Eastman School of Music, and the University of Louisville. He has recently been commissioned by the Washington and Lee University Orchestra, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Albany Symphony Contemporary Ensemble, and Louisville Orchestra, among others.

As part of the Creators Corps, the three artists will serve as LO staff members for at least 30 weeks and receive an annual salary of $40,000, health insurance, housing, and a studio workspace. Across their residency, they will compose new works to be performed by LO and/or in other settings, plus engage in educational activities. 

Additionally, one preexisting work from each of the creators will be performed on the LO opening night program on September 17, 2022. The world premieres of their new works will be performed in LO’s Classic Series during the 2022/23 season on January 14, March 4, and March 11, 2023.

“Lisa, TJ, and Tyler are examples of consummate 21st-century artist-leaders; their musical talents match their intellects and they all share a remarkable sensitivity to the needs of the world beyond the boundaries of contemporary musical composition,” Abrams continued. “While each creator has a unique background and aesthetic perspective, their collective accomplishments and capabilities will make them a tremendous part of the LO family…I can’t wait to begin collaborating with these three outstanding creators.” 

“The Creators Corps marks a new chapter for innovation and leadership for the [LO], and I am proud that we are demonstrating the most impactful way composers, community leaders, musicians and civic partners can come together to fundamentally change the conversation around creativity, the creative process, access to and impact from the arts,” added Graham Parker, LO’s interim executive director. “The entire LO family is dedicated to delivering on this new model and showcasing it across Metro Louisville, the Commonwealth and the country.”

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