Music and news to start your week!

Violinist Jennifer Koh, pictured above, turned the pandemic – and the silencing of the performing arts industry – into an opportunity to collaborate and create in a new way.  She contacted composers and commissioned 40 new works for solo violin.  The composers included Tania León, Missy Mazzoli, Angélica Negrón, and Cassie Wieland.  Read on at NPR, and listen in below:

The Met Opera will begin its season on September 27 with the world premiere of Terence Blanchard’s work: Fire Shut Up in My Bones.  The work will be the first opera by a Black composer to be performed at the Met.  Vulture spoke with baritone Will Liverman who will lead in the production that tackles issues of injustice, abuse, and abhorrent racism.

Interlude shares with readers six symphonies by women composers to listen to and explore.  Included on the list is Amy Beach’s Symphony – the first work of its kind composed by an American woman.  (BTW, our WPA edition of the work is available here — we launched our score publications with the critical edition of this work).  The other composers are Vítězslava Kaprálová, Alla Pavlova, Libby Larsen, Emilie Mayer, and Mary Dickenson-Auner.

Tom Huizenga reviews Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s first string quartet at Deceptive Cadence.  Listen in to the work below:

It was announced this past week that internationally renowned composer Jennifer Higdon is stepping down from her teaching position at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to focus on her music, and family commitments.  Read on at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

ICYMI, The International Florence Price Festival announced its six winners of the 2021 Price Awards, “six  esteemed artists and leaders who have inspired us with their lives, their art, and their work.”  They are: Performance: Michelle Cann.  Emerging Performance: Leah Hawkins.  Scholarship: Alexandra Kori Hill.  • Advocacy: Randye L. Jones.  Composition: Jasmine Barnes.  Leadership: Terri Allen.  Learn more here and see the awards ceremony!

What did we miss? What are you reading?  Let us know at info@wophil.org.