The New York Philharmonic

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Composing Inclusion

Posted November 09, 2021

The Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division, in partnership with the New York Philharmonic and the American Composers Forum, has been selected by the Sphinx Organization as a recipient of a 2022 Sphinx Venture Fund grant. The $100,000 award will catalyze the first two years of a partnership designed to bring together multiple generations, musical levels, perspectives, and community members in the creation and performance of new music.


The program, named Composing Inclusion, will commission nine composers who identify as Black and / or Latinx to create “flexible” — or adaptable — scores suited for different musical levels, bringing together young and seasoned musicians. The works will all be premiered by New York Philharmonic musicians and Juilliard Preparatory Division students in side-by-side performances, and will be published and shared with professional ensembles throughout the country who have established partnerships with youth music programs.


Composing Inclusion will connect Preparatory Division students and student composers from the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composer’s Program (VYC) with nine composers selected and supported through collaboration with the American Composers Forum. The new works resulting from this initiative will be five orchestral pieces, one string quartet, one wind quintet, one brass quintet, and one piece for percussion ensemble. All nine composers will be selected and commissioned in 2022 and 2023, and the first premiere will take place in New York in an upcoming season. 


The New York Philharmonic will engage its musicians, partner youth ensembles, and Teaching Artists in creating and performing these works in the first-ever side-by-side collaboration by Philharmonic musicians and Juilliard Preparatory Division students. Further, the composers who participate in VYC will contribute ideas during the creative process and will have the opportunity to be mentored by the professional composers. VYC is an after-school program that teaches children — both those with and those without previous musical training — to create, notate, and experience their very own music, most of which is performed by Philharmonic musicians. 


Gary Padmore, New York Philharmonic Director, Education and Community Engagement, The Sue B. Mercy Chair, said: “We are excited about the impact this initiative will have on the Philharmonic and the many young, talented musicians with whom we collaborate each season. Through these rich artistic experiences, we will collectively celebrate and amplify the works of living Black and Latinx composers. This is only the beginning.”