Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do Grants and Competitions Exist for Black Composers of Classical Music?

[Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violin Concertos, Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 2; Op. 3, No. 1; Op. 8, No. 9; Bernard Thomas Chamber Orchestra; Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Violin; Arion 68093 (1990)]

A reader has asked if grants and competitions exist for Black Composers of Classical Music. We have made an initial reply, and we hope others will provide further suggestions:

A number of opportunities for composers of African descent are provided by individual performance organizations. Here are some examples:

The Sphinx Commissioning Consortium involves the Sphinx Organization and 12 U.S. orchestras:

The Imani Winds Quintet,, has commissioned a number of works as part of its efffort to expand the Wind Quintet repertoire of works by composers of color.

The Ritz Chamber Players have had a number of composers-in-residence

The pianist Terrence Wilson took an entrepreneurial approach to the commissioning process. He solicited 6 orchestras to form a consortium to commission Grammy-winning composer Michael Daugherty to write a piano concerto. The resulting work is Deus Ex Machina for piano and orchestra (2007). Naxos paired the work with Daugherty's Metropolis Symphony on its release Naxos 8.559635 (2009), performed by the Nashville Symphony under the direction of Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor.

This reply is copied to my principal associates, who may contact you if they have additional suggestions. I hope you will keep the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) at Columbia College Chicago informed of your compositions and recordings. Its web address is: The CBMR has a unique and enduring research collection of scores, recordings and other materials related to Black composers.


Comment by email:
Your information was especially thorough. Precisely what I needed. Thank you very much. Steve Burks

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