Project 19
All concerts and events through January 5 are cancelled. Learn More about our response to Covid-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

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All concerts and events through January 5 are cancelled. Learn More about our response to Covid-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

Project 19

100 years ago, American women gained the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

In 2020, the New York Philharmonic introduces Project 19 — a multi-season initiative to commission and premiere 19 new works by 19 women composers — the largest women-only commissioning initiative in history.

Project 19 was born of the conviction that an orchestra can participate in conversations about social imperatives and even change the status quo. Through Project 19, the Philharmonic can mark a “tectonic shift in American culture,” says President and CEO Deborah Borda, by giving women composers a platform and catalyzing representation in classical music and beyond. Project 19 launched in February 2020 with the first six World Premieres. The Orchestra will premiere the remaining commissions in future seasons.

The Composers

The Composers

Writes music that appeals and challenges

Nina C. Young

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Pushes vocal boundaries

Joan La Barbara

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Writes for video games, vintage games, karaoke tapes

Nicole Lizée

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Empowers female, trans, and non-binary composers

Paola Prestini

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Named Dance Theatre of Harlem’s first music director

Tania León

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Won 2019 Pulitzer Prize / co-founded Luna Lab

Ellen Reid

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First woman to win the Grawemeyer Award

Joan Tower

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Influenced by Lower East Side activist upbringing

Jessie Montgomery

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Writes music as documentary to explore conflict

Mary Kouyoumdjian

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Third woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music

Melinda Wagner

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Writes for accordions, robots, toys, electronics

Angélica Negrón

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Listens to landscapes and nature

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

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Youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music

Caroline Shaw

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Won Pulitzer Prize for human trafficking allegory

Du Yun

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Won Philharmonic’s Kravis Prize for New Music

Unsuk Chin

Inspired by scientific phenomena, visual art, languages

Caroline Mallonee

First woman commissioned by Vienna Staatsoper

Olga Neuwirth

Has won Grammy Awards in multiple genres

Maria Schneider

Writing an opera about Hildegard von Bingen

Sarah Kirkland Snider


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

Generous support is also provided by Sheree A. and Gerald L. Friedman; The Hauser Foundation; 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.

Programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Project 19 partners include the Academy of American Poets, Catalyst, The Juilliard School, Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School High School (M. 859), League of Women Voters of the City of New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New-York Historical Society.

The New York Philharmonic is a founding member of the Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium, a collaboration of cultural organizations citywide that foregrounds exhibitions and programs that, together, offer a multi-dimensional picture of the history of women’s suffrage and its lasting, ongoing impact.

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