Happy New Year!! It has been a luxury having a couple of weeks to reflect over the past year. Though it has been a crisis for so many of us who have seen our entire professional life be put on hold, it has also been a time of reflection and introspection. For me, it has been a time to delve into passion projects and organize.
Last year gave me the opportunity to explore music of many musicians that were new to me and it is humbling to see the vast array of talent out there. As I listen to various composers, it is a thrill to hear such unique and individual voices. Some compositions resonate strongly with me, while other compositions offer different perspectives of sound and timbre that make me want to hear more! Whether it is a beautiful melody, interesting crunchy chords, a new musical texture, or clear musical thumbprint that I find interesting, all of these compositions have been incredibly engaging. Even though it has been a chaotic and frustrating year, it has been a gift to get to know these outstanding composers and musicians!
As a violinist who ventured towards conducting, I am especially excited about the music I am sharing today as String Orchestra music is at the root of my love for music. As a reminder, I choose composers for my 10 x 10 series from my growing list of 126 composers that identify themselves as either female and/or a composer of color. From this list, I have reached out to all living composers who have offered their email addresses to send me their suggestions for compositions that would fit into a specific category. So far, I have requested music that fits the following criteria: Holiday (particularly December compositions), classical orchestra size, concertos, music for spring, and string orchestra.
Once I receive composer’s music, I put their information in my database and then proceed to listen to their music. My intention is to present a diverse compilation of composers with respect to gender and race – though my primary interest is to offer compositions that I find compelling. Please note that these are my personal opinions and I do not consider myself a music critic for these lists. My goal is to offer examples that may interest Music and Artistic Directors from a variety of ensembles from the top tier symphony orchestras to community orchestras (as we should all be in this together).
My very best to each of you as we adventure into 2021. Though we are not quite to the point where we can gather “normally” in public, I hope these are some compositions to get you excited for the time when we can.
I hope you enjoy!
Entries will follow the following format:
1. Composer Name (hyperlink to additional info about the composer)
Titles (Title or 'mvt' hyperlink to more information and recordings)
Link to rental information via publisher or composer
HERE WE GO!
1. Maria Newman
2. Stacy Garrop
7. Clarice Assad
8. Chen Yi
9. Hanna Benn
For more information on these composers and other string compositions, please go to Anna’s composer database (link) and in the search engine, type “strings” in the Instrumentation or Notes search fields.