This project's mission is to nurture the creation of new music by today’s most innovative composers and to present the incredible wealth of venerated music by the leading composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Caroline Shaw's The Evergreen was inspired by a visit to Galiano Island in British-Columbia, Canada, during which she encountered an evergreen tree. This tree -old, scraggly, and covered in moss- inspired her to write this work.
Vail Premiere July 22, 2021 | Viano String Quartet
Bruce Adolphe recently wrote three works inspired by Beethoven compositions: his Fantasia on Beethoven's Spring Sonata; Coiled (based on the Op. 95 String Quartet); and this piece, Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt or "This Kiss to the Whole World," written for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and its music director Fabio Luisi.
Vail Premiere July 1, 2021 | Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member. Recent commissions include new works for Renée Fleming with Inon Barnatan, Dawn Upshaw with Sō Percussion and Gil Kalish, Seattle Symphony, Anne Sofie von Otter with Philharmonia Baroque, the LA Philharmonic, Juilliard 415, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with John Lithgow, the Dover Quartet, TENET, The Crossing, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Baltimore Symphony, and Roomful of Teeth with A Far Cry. Caroline’s film scores include Erica Fae’s To Keep the Light and Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline as well as the upcoming short 8th Year of the Emergency by Maureen Towey. She has produced for Kanye West (The Life of Pablo; Ye) and Nas (NASIR), and has contributed to records by The National, and by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. Once she got to sing in three part harmony with Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds at the Kennedy Center, and that was pretty much the bees’ knees and elbows. Caroline has studied at Rice, Yale, and Princeton, currently teaches at NYU, and is a Creative Associate at the Juilliard School. She has held residencies at Dumbarton Oaks, the Banff Centre, Music on Main, and the Vail Dance Festival. Caroline loves the color yellow, otters, Beethoven opus 74, Mozart opera, Kinhaven, the smell of rosemary, and the sound of a janky mandolin.
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This Kiss to the Whole World) is a famous line from the "Ode to Joy" by Friedrich Schiller, the text set by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony. As this work was commissioned specifically to be on the same program with the Ninth, I chose this quote to be both the title and the message: that all humankind is together in this world, we are related, and we should celebrate our humanity with love and joy. In addition to the title, there are several musical connections to Beethoven's Ninth in this work: the opening tremolo in the violins; the use of recitative-like phrases in the cellos; the shapes of some melodic fragments; the presence of timpani solos.
Philip Glass is now 84 years old, but when composing this work, he hearkened back to childhood memories of his first experience with percussion instruments. Perpetulum blends an almost child-like exploration of the sounds of percussion with Glass' signature musical voice.
Vail Premiere August 1, 2019 | Third Coast Percussion
Duo for Violin and Bass is the first work co-composed by father and son Edgar and George Meyer.
Premiere July 28, 2019 | Edgar & George Meyer
American composer Philip Glass (b. 1937) has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact on the musical and intellectual life of his times. Although percussion instruments have played an important role in much of Glass' music, and a number of his works have been arranged for percussion by other instruments, he had never composed a work for percussion ensemble until Third Coast Percussion commissioned Perpetulum.
Double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer has been a summertime fixture in Colorado since his student days at Aspen in the early 1980s. His monumental career has included an Avery Fisher Prize, a MacArthur Grant, and a genre-agnostic approach to music that he describes as "a multidimensional spectrum, and not a collection of specialized niches."
George Meyer - Edgar's son - is an acclaimed violinist and composer in his own right whose works have been performed at Chamber Music Northwest, the Telluride and RockyGrass Bluegrass Festivals, and the Savannah Music Festival.
"Many of Gabriella’s works address the climate crisis and the destruction of the environment. Through her music, she often tries to provide listeners with an emotional connection to the natural world in a plea for action. Mourning our planet’s loss of biodiversity, Gabriella Smith's Requiem is a 25-minute work for 8 singers and string quartet, written for Roomful of Teeth and Dover Quartet and commissioned by Bravo! Vail in 2018. Instead of the traditional Requiem text, the text of Gabriella’s Requiem is a list of the scientific (Latin) names of all the species that have become extinct in the last 100 years." - https://gabriellasmith.com/about
Gabriella Smith is a composer from the San Francisco Bay Area whose music is described as “high-voltage and wildly imaginative” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “bold, original and suggests exciting new directions for American music” (Giancarlo Guerrero), and “You really get the Pacific Ocean, man!” (Cabrillo Festival audience member). Her music has been performed throughout the U.S. and internationally by eighth blackbird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, PRISM Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, and yMusic, among others. Upcoming season highlights include the world premiere of a new work for Roomful of Teeth and Dover Quartet at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and performances of Tumblebird Contrails by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January 2019, conducted by John Adams.
During the 2016-17 season, Gabriella was the Nashville Symphony’s inaugural Composer Lab & Workshop Fellow. Other recent residencies include two months as an artist fellow at Instituto Sacatar on the island of Itaparica in Bahia, Brazil and a Copland House Residency at Aaron Copland’s home in Cortlandt Manor, New York.
She has received commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition for a new work for yMusic, the People’s Commissioning Fund for Bang on a Can’s Field Recordings project, the Pacific Harmony Foundation for the 2014 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the New York Youth Symphony as part of their First Music Program, Tucson Symphony, yMusic, the Barnes Foundation for the opening of their 2015 exhibition Order of Things, Friction Quartet, One Book One Philadelphia in celebration of their 2012 book selection Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival for their 2012 season opening concert, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble for their 9th Annual Young Composers Concert, the Rock School of Ballet in Philadelphia, and Monadnock Music in collaboration with poet Marcia Falk, among others.
Gabriella is a recipient of the ASCAP Leo Kaplan Award (2014), three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, a winner of the American Modern Ensemble Ninth Annual Composition Competition (2015), the Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award (2012), and the First Place Prize in the 2009 Pacific Musical Society Composition Competition.
She is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, where she has studied with Steve Mackey, Paul Lansky, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, Donnacha Dennehey, and Ju Ri Seo. She received her Bachelors of Music in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with David Ludwig, Jennifer Higdon, and Richard Danielpour. After graduating, she returned to the Curtis Institute of Music as an ArtistYear Fellow for the 2015-16 season, dedicating a citizen-artist year of national service in the Philadelphia region.
When not composing, she can be found backpacking (playing trail songs on her ukulele along the way), birding, playing capoeira, working on small-scale organic farms and environmental projects around the world, and recording underwater soundscapes with her hydrophone.
Equally at home in the worlds of bluegrass and classical, Meyers music is brimming with foot-tapping energy that is both folksy and stunningly virtuosic.
Premiere June 22, 2017 | Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra’s lively and idiosyncratic music infuses vibrant Latino eruptions into time-honored classical forms.
Premiere June 30, 2017 | Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Connesson brings together an imaginatively diverse range of influences, and Gramophone magazine noted, his “retro, razzle-dazzle eclecticism knows no bounds.”
Premiere July 9, 2017 | The Philadelphia Orchestra
White Stone is the second work that Adolphe has been commissioned to write for the New York Phil. Her music is thoughtful, sophisticated, and full of complex layers, yet infused with a luminous clarity.
Premiere July 26, 2017 | New York Philharmonic
“Ludwig orchestrates with the skill and sophistication of a Ravel, and generates the power and thrills of a John Williams adventure film score.” – Fanfare Magazine
Premiere August 3, 2017 | Aeolus Quartet; Calder Quartet; Lyris Quartet; Anne-Marie McDermott, piano; Rachel Calin, double bass
Equally at home in the worlds of bluegrass and classical, eclectic bass virtuoso and Grammy-winning composer Edgar Meyer writes music that swings and sighs, offering category-defying ruminations on what America sounds like, brimming with foot-tapping energy that is both folksy and stunningly virtuosic.
One of the world’s finest orchestral colorists, Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra’s lively and idiosyncratic music infuses vibrant Latino eruptions into time-honored classical forms. From fandango to calypso, lush string textures to sassy, brassy percussion breaks, this is melting-pot music of the highest order.
At just 47 years old, Connesson brings together the imaginatively diverse range of influences you might expect from a child of the 70s and 80s, from the rich musical traditions of his native France to the movie music of Bernard Hermann and John Williams, innovators like John Adams and Steve Reich, even the get-down funk of James Brown. As Gramophone magazine noted, his “retro, razzle-dazzle eclecticism knows no bounds.”
In a 2013 interview, Julia Adolphe noted, “in the music industry there’s a strict divide between pop and classical music, but they can be fused in the right way for a perfect combination on the stage.” Still not yet 30 years old, White Stone is the second work that Adolphe has been commissioned to write for the New York Philharmonic. Her music is thoughtful, sophisticated, and full of complex layers, yet infused with a luminous clarity.
David Ludwig has an illustrious pedigree, coming from several generations of eminent musicians. (His uncle is pianist Peter Serkin, his grandfather was the pianist Rudolf Serkin, and his great-grandfather was the violinist/composer Adolf Busch.) According to Fanfare magazine, “Ludwig orchestrates with the skill and sophistication of a Ravel, and generates the power and thrills of a John Williams adventure film score.” Resourceful and relentlessly curious, his music draws on an eclectic array of inspirations from space exploration to Ladino folk songs.