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Sound On

May 10

In this exciting series of contemporary music, Kwame Ryan conducts World Premieres by Melinda Wagner and Mary Kouyoumdjian. These works were commissioned as part of Project 19, the largest women-only commissioning initiative in history.

Sound On
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8:00 PM




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Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall

Program To Include

Melinda Wagner

Elegy Flywheel (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission, as part of Project 19)

Mary Kouyoumdjian

New work (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission, as part of Project 19)


  • Kwamé Ryan


    Kwamé Ryan was born in Canada and grew up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where he received his early musical education. He completed his studies in the United Kingdom and Hungary, reading musicology at Cambridge University. He held the position of general music director of Freiburg Opera between 1999 and 2003, and served as musical and artistic director of the National Orchestra of Bordeaux Aquitaine between 2007 and 2013.

    As a guest conductor in Germany, he has conducted the Stuttgart and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestras, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Saarbrücken Staatsoper, and Stuttgart Staatsoper. In France he has worked at Opera Bastille, Opéra National de Lyon, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. His work in the United States and the UK has taken him to the Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Houston symphony orchestras, as well as Boston Lyric Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. He has been a regular guest of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and most recently returned to Brussels’s La Monnaie for the world premiere of Kris De Foort’s The Time of our Singing, which won the International Opera Award for world premiere of the year in 2021.

    A recipient of international awards for outstanding work in the field of music education, Ryan has served as musical director of the National Youth Orchestra of France and as director of the Academy for the Performing Arts at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Recent engagements have taken him to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Opera, Hamburg Symphony, and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; upcoming debuts are scheduled with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic.

    Learn more about Kwamé Ryan

Special Thanks

Lead support for Project 19 is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, and Oscar L. Tang and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang.

Generous support is also provided by Sheree A. and Gerald L. Friedman; Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts; The Hauser Foundation; Daniel M. Healy; The Gerald L. Lennard Foundation; Margaret Morgan and Wesley Phoa; Kimberly V. Strauss, The Strauss Foundation; the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation; and an anonymous donor.

Project 19 is supported in part by a generous grant from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.


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