Seven composers selected for 2022 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute
Seven emerging composers have been selected to participate in the Minnesota Orchestra’s 18th annual Composer Institute, the Orchestra announced today. The selected composers, whose works encompass a wide variety of musical styles, were chosen from a pool of approximately 300 applicants and will be part of a deeply immersive experience in Minneapolis from May 2-6, 2022, as they participate in rehearsals, seminars and mentoring sessions. For the first time ever, ‘MusicMakers’ culminating performance of their works will be shared live on the Orchestra’s website and on social media on Friday, May 6, 2022. The performance also marks an end: it will be the last MusicMakers concert under Music Director Osmo Vänskä’s The Baton before he stepped down as director at the end of the 2021-22 season.
The 18th annual Composer Institute attendees are Henry L. Dorn of Little Rock, Arkansas; Adeliia Faizullina from Providence, Rhode Island; Bobby Ge from Shanghai, China; Ryan Lindveit of Lake Jackson, Texas; Molly Joyce of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Nina Shekhar of Detroit, Michigan; and Sam Wu from Melbourne, Australia.
“This is a pivotal year for the Composer Institute,” said composer Kevin Puts, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and director. “In addition to presenting these exciting new works – and their creators! these talented composers at a crucial time in their careers. We will also pay homage to Osmo with these concerts. He has been a great champion of this project and the dozens of composers who have participated in it since 2001, always treating their work with the utmost respect and commitment, and we are honored that he will lead the MusicMakers performance on May 6. “
Puts chaired the Institute’s selection committee, which included Katherine Balch and Viet Cuong, alumni of the Institute of Composers, as well as the composer Roberto Sierra.
The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, widely recognized as a premier professional training program for emerging symphonic composers, grew out of the Orchestra’s “Perfect Pitch” program, a series of new music reading sessions for composers in Minnesota. launched in 1996 in collaboration with the American Composers Forum. Perfect Pitch was reformulated in 2001 as the Composer Institute to broaden the scope of the program and invite national participation. In 2006, music director Osmo Vänskä added a public concert of the composers’ new works, initially called Future Classics and later renamed MusicMakers, which he conducted himself annually. Composer Aaron Jay Kernis led the program for its first 11 seasons and was replaced by Kevin Puts in 2015. In 2020, the American Composers Orchestra became the new co-presenter of the Composer Institute.
Many of the 148 composers who have already participated in the program have gone on to impressive careers, winning prestigious commissions and top honors, including several Grammy nominations and two Pulitzer Prize shortlistings.