As those of us in the U.S. get the grill and lawn chairs ready to celebrate the 4th of July, why not take a few minutes to listen to some patriotic music?
American composer Joan Tower was approached about completing a new work in 2001 – but it wasn’t a typical commission. The work was made possible by support from a huge consortium of supporters, including 65 regional or community orchestras (representing all 50 states), the League of American Orchestras, The Ford Motor Company, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Tower took great care in composing the work to make sure that all ensembles, no matter their skill level, could perform the work well. Made in America received its premiere by the Glen Falls Symphony Orchestra in New York State in October 2005. Forty-nine states later, the piece was heard in Alaska, performed by the Juneau Symphony in June 2007.
Listen to an interview with Tower on NPR:
The piece was completed and received its premiere in October 2005 in New York State; the final performance from the commissioning ensembles was in June 2007 in Alaska. The work was then recorded by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, and swept the 2008 Grammy Awards. The work won “Best Classical Album,” “Best Orchestral Performance,” and “Best Classical Contemporary Composition”.
Here is that award winning recording: