New Music News Wire

New Music News Wire

Over $6 Million in Grants Announced by Chamber Music America

Chamber Music America (CMA) has announced that it will award $664,534 to fund 64 ensemble music projects conducted by artists and presenters throughout the U.S. and in France. Twenty-eight of the grants will support community-based residencies through CMA’s Residency Partnership Program, 19 are commissions awarded through the New Works: Creation and Presentation and CMA Commissioning Programs for ensembles and composers, and 17 grants will provide funding for jazz presentations and collaborations through the New Works: Encore and CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange Programs. New works will be commissioned from composers Shulamit Ran and Frederic Rzewski, for the ensembles Concertante and Opus 21, respectively; and 15 composer/instrumentalists, including Oscar Perez and Michele Rosewoman, have been funded to create new ensemble works in the jazz idiom.

CMA’s 28 residencies, taking place in 15 states this year, bring music to a range of communities and audiences with limited access to live music performance and music education. Examples of the funded residencies include: A course in jazz history for junior high school students in Bronx, NY; lecture/demonstrations and interactive concerts for hospitalized children and their families in Denver, CO; concerts and music coaching in rural Pennsylvania and in an Alaskan fishing village; open rehearsals and club concerts for Iowa youth; and inter-generational music activities for all ages in a Massachusetts community music school.

Chamber Music America, the national service organization for the ensemble music profession, was founded in 1977 to promote artistic excellence and the economic stability of the field, and to ensure that chamber music, in its broadest sense, is a vital part of American life. With a membership of over 8,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions. CMA convenes peer panels of classical music and jazz experts to adjudicate proposals in its various re-granting programs. Since CMA’s inception in 1977, the organization has awarded more than $10 million in direct support to ensembles, presenters and festivals.

Details about the new CMA commissions plus the awardees in the New Works: Creation and Presentation, New Works: Encore and CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange programs are listed below


The CMA Commissioning Program enables ensembles to approach composers for new repertoire. The program has resulted in the creation of nearly one hundred new works since 1984. This program is supported by the Argosy Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.

Concertante (Harrisburg, PA) A sextet for two violins, two violas, and two cellos (fifth of Concertante’s planned six-part series of commissions for string sextet), from composer Shulamit Ran

Opus 21 (Kalamazoo, MI) A work for mixed ensemble (violin, bass, clarinet, saxophone, two percussion) and piano (Stephen Drury), from composer Frederic Rzewski


New Works: Creation and Presentation—which supports the composition and performance of new works in the jazz idiom—is part of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project and is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Noah Baerman Trio (Middletown, CT) Suite for septet (piano, bass, drums, saxophones, flute, guitar and vibraphone/marimba)

Geof Bradfield Quartet (Chicago, IL) A collection of short pieces inspired by tour of Eastern and Central Africa

Adam Birnbaum Trio (New York, NY) Suite for piano, bass and drums, based on poems from John Berryman’s 77 Dream Songs

Chris Byars Quartet (Bronx, NY) Three-part “Bop-ography” of vibraphonist Teddy Charles, for saxophones, flute, trombone, bass, drums, vibraphone, and oboe/English horn

David Chevan and the Afro-Semitic Experience (Whitneyville, CT) A work evoking the Jewish and African diasporas, drawing on the sacred and secular songs of both traditions

Ryan Cohan Sextet (Chicago, IL) Multi-movement work for piano, bass, drums, woodwinds, trumpet/flugelhorn and percussion

Alexis Cuadrado Quintet (Brooklyn, NY) Noneto Ibérico, a series of compositions for electric guitar, accordion, reed and brass instruments

Justin Flynn Quintet (Brooklyn, NY) Multi-movement work (titled The Discovers Octet Project) for saxophones, woodwinds, guitar, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, and drums

David Gilmore Trio (Brooklyn, NY) Nine-part suite for guitar, bass, percussion, saxophones, vocals, and piano

Rafi Malkiel Ensemble (New York, NY) Seven-part polyrhythmic composition for trombone/euphonium, clarinet, trumpet, flute, bass clarinet/tenor saxophone, bassoon, piano, bass, drums and percussion

Dave Morgan and The Jazz Unit (Poland, OH) A work inspired by the writings of philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff; for bass, trumpet/flugelhorn, saxophones, woodwinds, trombone, French horn, tuba, keyboards, drums/percussion, and guitar

Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo (West Orange, NJ) Cuban folkloric/classical/jazz fusion for piano, trumpet, saxophone, bass, drums, percussion and voice

Jean-Michel Pilc Trio (Ellenville, NY) Charlie Chaplin Suite for piano, bass and drums

Michele Rosewoman and Quintessence (New York, NY) A work for quintet (piano, tenor saxophone, soprano/alto saxophone, bass, drums) plus trombone and guitar

Edward Simon and Afinidad (Orange City, FL) A modern jazz suite, using chromatic polychordal language, for piano, alto saxophone, bass, drums, vocals, guitars and percussion

Ben Wendel Group (Santa Monica, CA) A six-movement suite, with references to a Baroque dance, for saxophones/bassoon/melodica, guitar, drums, acoustic bass, piano and electric piano


This program funds concert presentations of music previously commissioned through the New Works: Creation and Presentation program.

Dave Pietro Group (2005) at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT) and University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center (Amherst, MA)

Edward Simon’s Ensemble Venezuela (2004) at the Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT) and San Francisco Jazz Organization

Jamie Baum Septet (2003) at Merkin Concert Hall (New York, NY)

Jeff Haas Quintet (2004) at the Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI)

Joel Harrison Ensemble (2005) at Merkin Concert Hall (New York, NY)

Myra Melford’s Be Bread Ensemble (2003) at the Portland Jazz Festival (Portland, OR)

Pete Robbins & Centric (2006) at Subconscious New Music and Dimensions in Jazz (Cambridge, MA)

Ryan Cohan Sextet (2005) at Merkin Concert Hall (New York, NY) and Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL)

Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society (Fort Pierce, FL) presenting Tina Marsh & the Creative Opportunity Orchestra (2003)

EMIT (St. Petersburg, FL), Helena Presents/ Myrna Loy Center (Helena, MT), and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs presenting the Rudresh Mahanthappa Quartet (2005)

Idlewild Foundation (Detroit, MI) presenting Robin Eubanks and Mental Images (2002)

Kerrytown Concert House (Ann Arbor MI) and Maverick Concerts (Woodstock NY) presenting String Trio of New York (2005)

Montgomery County Community College (Blue Bell, PA) presenting the Matt Wilson Arts and Crafts (2001) and the John Blake Jr. Quartet (2004)

San Francisco Jazz Organization (San Francisco, CA) presenting the David Sanchez Sextet (2005)

Treasure Coast Concert Association (Palm City, FL) presenting the Walt Weiskopf Sextet (2002)


French-American Jazz Exchange was created by CMA, the French Embassy, and French-American Cultural Exchange to foster collaborative projects that unite French and America jazz artists. Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Florence Gould Foundation, SACEM, and CulturesFrance.

Meddy Gerville (Réunion Island, FR) New York City performances and a recording by Gerville’s ensemble with American bassist Matthew Garrison

Ben Goldberg (Berkeley, CA) Workshops, masterclasses and performances in California and France by clarinetist Goldberg, pianist Myra Melford, drummer/bassist Shahzad Ismaily with France-based electronic musician Mathias Delplanque

Wendell Harrison and Mama’s Licking Stick Clarinet Ensemble (U.S.) Performances of Harrison’s compositions with the French clarinet ensemble Quatuor Issy, at the Pompidou Museum in Paris and the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well as for school performances in both cities

Paul Kikuchi/Empty Cage Quartet (Seattle, WA) Composition, masterclasses, a recording and performances in France of a work for quartet, guitar and bass clarinet to be created by Empty Cage and two French partners

John Lindberg (Kerhonkson, NY) A reunion, after 25 years, between American bassist Lindberg and the France-based American pianist Eric Watson, to create and perform a new series of duo works, and for student workshops in Albany and Strasbourg

Roy Nathanson/Jazz Passengers (Brooklyn, NY) American saxophonist Nathanson, French flutist Majik Malik and French saxophonist Laurent Bardainne to perform and work with American and French students on “Subway Stories,” Nathanson’s recent CMA New Works commission

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Jazz Ensemble (New Orleans, LA) A first-time collaboration between the New Orleans Center and Conservatoire National de Paris, co-directed by American pianist Michael Pellera and French bassist Ricardo del Fra, featuring cross-residences, workshops and public performances with advanced students in both countries

Francisco Pais (Boston, MA) Public performances and masterclasses in France and the U.S. by guitarist Pais’s ensemble with French pianist Frank Woeste

Jérôme Sabbagh (Brooklyn, NY) Performances and a recording in New York City, followed by a tour in France, by French saxophonist Sabbagh with American bassist Ben Street and drummer Rodney Green

Marlon Simon (Cherry Hill, NJ) Performances in Philadelphia and New York City by percussionist Simon with Marco Glomeau’s France-based ensemble; workshops for students and faculty at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia

Franck Vigroux (Le Monastier, FR) A work by guitarist Vigroux and U.S. composer Elliott Sharp, using electronics; a world premiere at the Nevers Jazz Festival; a French tour and a U.S. premiere in Brooklyn

More than $1 Million Awarded in MAP Fund Grants

The Multi-Arts Production Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, has announced the recipients of its 2008 grants for new work in live performance. Thirty-eight projects, engaging more than 70 individual composers, choreographers, designers, solo performers, and playwrights will receive awards ranging from $10,000 to $40,000. The projects, which were selected from over 600 proposals by panels of arts professionals, represent a wide breadth of aesthetic approaches.

Among the 2008 Grantees are Douglas Henderson’s Music for 100 Carpenters, a surround-sound music performance that enlists 100 skilled and unskilled trades people, toolbelts, sweat and lunchboxes as part of the score, a Violin Concerto for Regina Carter and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Billy Childs, and Cambodian American composer Chinary Ung’s collaboration with master of Cambodian traditional music and dance Sophiline Cheam Shapiro and the Los Angeles Master Chorale for two sopranos, chorus, chamber ensemble and dancers. Imani Winds flutist Valerie Coleman will create an opera based on the life of death row inmate anti-gang activist Stanley Tookie Williams, who had been the co-founder of the Crips street gang. Troika Ranch and Colin Kilian will create a work for six performers and interactive media built from interwoven loops of movement, text, music, and video, which are then interrupted, reshaped, and renewed by loop divers. The Bay Area-based ROVA Saxophone Quartet will collaborate with digital animation artists Semiconductor, and Corey Dargel will compose a new art-pop song cycle about psychiatric delusion which he will perform with the International Contemporary Ensemble.

In addition to the monetary award, as part of Creative Capital’s commitment to helping artists sustain their creative practices over a lifetime, grantees will take part in a professional development weekend retreat, which offers skills-building assistance in fundraising, networking, marketing, and strategic planning.

The Multi-Arts Production Fund was created by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1988 to support innovation and cross-cultural exploration in theater, dance, and music. Among the longest-lived programs in arts philanthropy, MAP has been administered by Creative Capital since 2001. In 2008, the program became the recipient of a three-year, $3.3 million support grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008)

Norman Dello Joio
Photo courtesy Carl Fischer Music

Norman Dello Joio passed away in his sleep in his home in East Hampton NY at age 95 on Thursday, July 24. He was 95 years old.

Born in New York City on January 24, 1913, Dello Joio began his musical career at the age of fourteen serving as a church organist and choir director at the Star of the Sea Church on City Island in the Bronx. 1939, he was accepted as a scholarship student at the Juilliard School, and studied composition with Bernard Wagenaar. He later studied with Paul Hindemith both at Yale and at Tanglewood.

By the late 1940s, Dello Joio was considered one of America’s leading composers. He received numerous awards and grants including the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Award, the Town Hall Composition Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He won the New York Music Critics’ Circle Award in 1948, and again in 1962. In 1957, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his string orchestra composition Meditations on Ecclesiastes and an Emmy Award for his music in the television special Scenes from the Louvre. In 1958, CBS featured him in a one-hour television special, “Profile of a Composer.”

A prolific composer, Dello Joio created over forty-five choral works, close to thirty works for orchestra and ten for band, approximately twenty-five pieces for solo voice, twenty chamber works, numerous solo piano works, plus concertos for piano, flute, harp, a Concertante for Clarinet, and a Concertino for Harmonica. His stage works include three operas and eight ballets. He also composed nine television scores.

Dello Joio taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Mannes College of Music, and was Professor of Music and Dean of the Fine and Applied Arts School of Boston University. From 1959 until 1973, he directed the Ford Foundation’s Contemporary Music Project, which placed young composers in high schools who were salaried to compose music for school ensembles and programs. The project placed about ninety composers, many who successfully continued their careers.

Norman Dello Joio is survived by his wife Barbara Costello Dello Joio, his 2 sons composer Justin Dello Joio and Norman Adrian Dello Joio, his daughter Victoria, his grandchildren Chiara, Daniella, Norman Nicholas, and his first wife Grayce Baumgold Dello Joio.

(Compiled and edited by Frank J. Oteri)

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.