October 18, 2011

The award of a $65,000 grant from Music Alive, the partnership program of the League of American Orchestras and Meet the Composer, is bringing the well-known young composer, Gabriela Lena Frank into the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra family for a two year residency.

The ASO is just one of five orchestras nationwide selected to receive a Music Alive composer-in- residence grant.

Ms Frank will create two new works to help the ASO celebrate its 50th anniversary over the 2011-2013 seasons. She will also be deeply integrated into the Annapolis community through multiple engagements such as educational activities and collaborative partnerships.

An American composer of contemporary classical music, Ms. Frank was born in Berkeley, CA in 1972 to a Peruvian mother of Chinese descent and an American father of Lithuanian Jewish heritage. She often draws on her multicultural heritage for inspiration, Latin American idioms especially.

A graduate of Rice University, she received a doctorate from the University of Michigan in 2001. Her music has been commissioned and performed by many of the country’s top orchestras; she recently served as composer-in-residence with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and will take up a residency in 2010-2011 with the Chicago Chamber Players.

Gabriela is a member of the Silk Road Ensemble under the direction of cellist Yo Yo Ma. She is also a frequent collaborator with Caminos del Inka under the direction of conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya and she works closely with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz in the creation of original new musical works for voice.

Together, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and Gabriela Frank will embark upon a two-year musical adventure to create new and exciting music and introduce her compositions to new audiences. Our Anne Arundel community will be enriched by interacting with an award-winning composer in the process of creating new works.

Music Alive encourages the commissioning and engagement of living composers by funding composer-in-residence programs.  In addition to the ASO, the other four orchestras selected to participate in the 2011-2012 season include Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Stockton Symphony Association.  Since its inception in 1999, Music Alive has supported 84 residencies with 82 composers and 66 orchestras.  By providing critical support to orchestras seeking to expand their connections to living composers and new music, the program fosters a greater understanding and appreciation for contemporary classical music.

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.  Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves a great art.