• Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever

University of Michigan Launches New Black Composers Commissioning Initiative


The School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) at the University of Michigan has launched its new Initiative for Black Composers, which will commission ten orchestral works over the coming decade. The project is aligned with the school's history of championing works by composers from historically underrepresented groups.

Three of the project's commissions have already been completed: "Tethered Voices" by U-M alumnus James Lee III, "Tales: A Folklore Symphony" by Carlos Simon (also an alumnus), and an as-yet untitled work by Nkeiru Okoye that is inspired by the writings of Maya Angelou. The first two works will receive their premieres in 2022, with Okoye's work due for its first airing in early 2023.

The initiative will also give the school's performance students the chance to amass a substantial amount of experience in preparing and premiering newly-commissioned music, an opportunity which is not always available to tertiary music students.

The project's leader, conducting professor Kenneth Kiesler, hopes that the initiative's impact will stretch well beyond the university, and help to create a culture in which programming the works of Black composers becomes second nature for musical institutions.

“The School of Music, Theatre & Dance is honored not only to celebrate the work of Black composers, but to play a role in making the repertoire of classical music more representative and inclusive,” said SMTD Dean David Gier.

“I’m especially excited that the Initiative for Black Composers will give SMTD students much-needed exposure to living composers, a critical component of any music program. This initiative is a part of SMTD’s broader commitment to elevate and promote BIPOC voices in the performing arts," he added.

upcoming events

september 2023

17sepAll Day23Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors(All Day) Kursaal, 2 Pl. du Théâtre, 25000 Besançon, FranceEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBesançon International Competition for Young ConductorsFOLLOW

21sepAll Day03octKronberg Academy Festival(All Day) Kronberg Academy, Beethovenpl. 1, 61476 Kronberg im Taunus, GermanyEvent Type :OtherFOLLOW

22sepAll Day24Cremona Musica International Exhibitions and Festivals(All Day) Cremona Exhibition Centre, Piazza Zelioli Lanzini, 1 26100 Cremona, ItalyEvent Type :conferences & tradeshowsFOLLOW

26sepAll Day30Trondheim International Piano Trio Competition(All Day) Frimurerlogen i Trondhjem Selskapslokaler, Kongens gate 3, 7011 Trondheim, NorwayEvent Type :competitions Event TagsTrondheim International Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

october 2023

16octAll Day27"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition(All Day) Teatro Carlo Felice, Passo Eugenio Montale, 4, 16121 Genova GE, ItalyEvent Type :competitions Event Tags"Premio Paganini" International Violin Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

20oct1:00 pm5:00 pmLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls RdEvent Type :competitions Event TagsLillian & Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach CompetitionFOLLOW

23octAll Day29Concours de Genève International Music Competition — String Quartet(All Day) Victoria Hall, Rue du Général-Dufour 14, 1204 Genève, SwitzerlandEvent Type :competitions Event TagsConcours de Genève,string quartetFOLLOW

28octAll Day05novISANGYUN International Piano Competition(All Day) Tongyeon Concert Hall, 38, Keunbalgae 1-Gil Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 53079 South KoreaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsIsangYun International Piano Competition,Piano CompetitionFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right