The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has commissioned University of Pittsburgh composers Professor Mathew Rosenblum, Assistant Professor Amy Williams, and current doctoral candidate Bomi Jang for the orchestra’s 2013–14 season in what is being billed as the Year of Pittsburgh Composers. The three Pitt composers will join Patrick Burke (Duquesne University) and Reza Vali (PhD 1985, faculty at Carnegie Mellon) in the composition of a collaborative work that will receive its premiere the weekend of February 7–9, 2014. Since the 2001–2 Season, the PSO has hosted a composer of the year, but this year the orchestra is spreading those duties out to eight different local composers. Along with commissions for the collaborative work, the orchestra will give the world premiere of David Stock’s Symphony No. 6 and the PSO premieres of Leonardo Balada’s Symphony No. 6 and Nancy Galbraith’s Tormenta del Sur.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra created the Composer of the Year program to provide audiences with an unprecedented opportunity to encounter music of living composers, and establish a relationship with the composers through the experience of hearing multiple works and learning about the works through pre-concert talks and chats with the composer. Past participants are Mason Bates, Steven Stucky, Joan Tower, Richard Danielpour, John Adams, John Corigliano, Christopher Theofanidis, Jennifer Higdon, Christopher Rouse, Michael Hersch, Krzysztof Penderecki and Rodion Shchedrin.
Congratulations to all three Pitt composers on their inclusion in a project that will underscore the creative richness of Pittsburgh’s musical life. Look for more updates as the premiere date approaches.