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New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices Program Expands

The expansion will include over 45 Orchestras in the US and beyond, plus composers Katherine Balch and Clarice Assad


New Music USA has added two more composers to its Amplifying Voices program, which is a long-term project that aims to create orchestral commissioning opportunities for women and people of color in composition.

Katherine Balch and Clarice Assad will be added to the existing pool of nine composers, all of whom are women and/or BIPOC

Composer Katherine Balch will compose a work for the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She is a recipient of the Rome Prize, and has had her music performed by ensembles and at festivals such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Tokyo Symphony, IRCAM ManiFeste, and Tanglewood.

Meanwhile, Clarice Assad will write a work for premiere by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, who is the lead commissioner. The work will also receive performances by the American Composers Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, and the Houston-based ensemble ROCO. Working across the genres of classical, world music, pop, and jazz, Assad is a Grammy-nominated pianist, as well as a vocalist and educator.

“At New Music USA we believe that the programming of more pieces by living composers from a multitude of backgrounds will transform orchestral music for current and future generations,” said Vanessa Reed, the organization’s President and CEO.

“It’s encouraging to see the pace at which orchestras are expanding their repertoire. To sustain this momentum, long-term commitments and collaborations are key."

“I am honored to participate in such an exciting project with these fantastic orchestras that I genuinely admire — each with a unique vision for the future of today's music,” said composer Clarice Assad. “I get to write and share the stage with them, so in a way, it is like a dream coming true for me."

“It was an enormous thrill to hear about the chance to participate in New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program," said composer Katherine Balch.

“Already it has incubated new works by some of my favorite composers today. This project frees me to write the music of my dreams with the assurance that it will be in the caring and passionate hands of a consortia of orchestras committed to sharing historically marginalized music with audiences at the highest level of artistry.”

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