St. Louis Symphony Orchestra launches SLSO Composer Workshop to nurture and advance the careers of composers of today

The first workshop in an annual commitment features SLSO performances of music by Aiyana Braun, Christian Quiñones, Peter S. Shin, and Nicky Sohn; composers will participate in feedback sessions with SLSO musicians and librarians, career development seminars with SLSO administrators; and mentorship sessions with a leading composer of today

Frequent SLSO collaborator, composer/conductor John Adams, leads 2022 workshop

SLSO gives free community concert of works by composers, led by Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress, January 30 at Powell Hall; performances will be available on-demand for streaming in spring 2022

SLSO will perform chamber music by workshop participants in future St. Louis Symphony: Live at the Pulitzer concerts

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(January 26, 2022, St. Louis, MO) – Today, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra announced details of its inaugural Composer Workshop, the first in a yearly commitment by the orchestra designed to establish and foster relationships with emerging composers at the outset of their orchestral composition careers. The workshop is a multi-day immersive residency for composers pursuing post-graduate studies that includes performances by the SLSO under Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress; guidance and feedback from an annually appointed workshop mentor; seminars with mentors and SLSO administration, musicians, and librarians; and a free community concert of the composers' works at Powell Hall. As part of the SLSO's commitment to the further promotion and performance of the workshop's composers, future St. Louis Symphony: Live at the Pulitzer seasons—a concert series in collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation that presents bold and daring chamber music of the 20th and 21st centuries—will include a piece by each composer. The workshop is an extension of Music Director Stéphane Denève's and the SLSO's commitment to championing music of today and developing the repertoire of the future, a cornerstone of Denève's music directorship.

The inaugural workshop takes place January 27-30 at Powell Hall with celebrated American composer/conductor John Adams, a longtime SLSO collaborator with many works recorded by the orchestra, including the recordings of his City Noir and Saxophone Concerto which won the 2015 GRAMMY® Award for Best Orchestral Performance.

Composers selected for the inaugural SLSO Composer Workshop include Aiyana Braun, Christian Quiñones, Peter S. Shin, and Nicky Sohn. Composers were selected by Adams, SLSO Assistant Conductor Childress, SLSO Creative Partner Tim Munro, and the SLSO arts administration team after a nomination process involving some of the leading composers and pedagogues of today.

The free SLSO Composer Workshop community concert, led by Childress, is at 3:00pm Sunday, January 30, at Powell Hall. Additionally, the performance will be post-produced and available for free, on-demand audio-visual streaming to help the composers promote their work.

Stéphane Denève, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Music Director, said, "There are so many beautiful, moving, and exciting pieces of music being composed by today's rising composers that deserve performances. I am overjoyed that the SLSO has committed to developing relationships with these composers. I look forward to watching these composers' careers develop and to hearing their music on SLSO programs and stages around the world, as I deeply believe the future of our artform is rooted in the composers and repertoire of today and tomorrow. These yearly workshops are a perfect complement to the SLSO's deep commitment to music of our time."

Inaugural workshop participants include:

Aiyana Braun, an Israeli American composer who at the age of 15 was commissioned to write her first orchestral piece for the New York Philharmonic. She received her B.M. under full scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with GRAMMY® and Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon; the Juilliard School's Dean of Music, David Ludwig; and GRAMMY® nominee Richard Danielpour. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division where she studied composition with Dr. Manuel Sosa, during which time she was a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program. She has won awards from the BMI Foundation and American Composers Forum, and has been featured on NPR's From the Top and several episodes of PBS's On Stage at Curtis. She was honored to be in residence at NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts from 2020-2021.

Christian Quiñones, a Puerto Rican composer whose music explores concepts including cultural identity and the intersection between vernacular music, electronic textures, rock, and Latin music. He was recently selected as a composer in residence at the Copland House and in 2020 he was selected for the Earshot Underwood Orchestra Readings with the American Composers Orchestra. He also has received commissions from the Brooklyn Arts Council Inaugural Commission, the Icarus Quartet, the Bergamot String Quartet, and the Victory players where he was 2018-2019 composer in residence. Quiñones is a graduate of the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico (B.M.) and the University of Illinois (M.M), where he was the recipient of the Graduate College Master's Fellowship. Currently, he is a Ph.D. President's fellow at Princeton University.

Peter S. Shin, who investigates issues of social and national belonging, the co-opting and intermingling of disparate musical vernaculars, and the liminality between the two halves of his second-generation Korean-U.S. American identity. The New York Times described him as "a composer to watch" and his music "entirely fresh and personal" following his premiere at Carnegie Hall. Shin has received fellowships, commissions, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Harvard University Fromm Music Foundation, Fulbright Program, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, Minnesota Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, Barlow Endowment, and the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals, among others. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, he is the son of South Korean immigrants with over 30 years of service to the United States Postal Service. With degrees from the University of Michigan (B.M.), the University of Southern California (M.M.), and the Yale School of Music (M.M.A.), Peter is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Nicky Sohn, a doctoral student at The Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. She holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music. Characterized by her jazz-inspired, rhythmically driven themes, Sohn's work has been described as "like John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine on steroids" (YourObserver), "dynamic and full of vitality" (The Korea Defense Daily), and having "elegant wonder" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). As a result, Sohn has enjoyed commissions from the world's preeminent performing arts institutions, including sold-out performances at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, The National Orchestra of Korea, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra. Her music has been featured at renowned music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Les Ecoles d'Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, Ars Nova with Unsuk Chin and the Seoul Philharmonic, and Chelsea Music Festival with Ken-David Masur, among others.

The SLSO Composer Workshop is an addition to the SLSO's long-established commitment to championing music of today and composers at all stages their careers, including:
• Regular performances of works by composers of today. In the 21/22 season, the orchestra performs works by 33 composers of today, including Composer Workshop participants. The orchestra performs five world premieres and a U.S. premiere this season. Each classical concert this season includes at least one piece new to the orchestra's repertoire.
• The 17-year collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation to present St. Louis Symphony: Live at the Pulitzer, a yearly series of concerts that present chamber music from the 20th and 21st centuries, performed by SLSO musicians in the Pulitzer Arts Foundation galleries. Since 2004, the series has performed works by more than 65 living composers as of performance dates.
• A collaboration with the Mizzou New Music Initiative, begun in 2017, that gives student composers at the University of Missouri an opportunity to have their works performed by the SLSO and receive feedback from the orchestra.
• A focus on music composition in education programming, including, most recently, SLSO SoundLab and Sound of Music Summer Camps—which encourage students ages 5 to 12 to explore sound and create their own compositions on their own and in collaboration with peers.

Visit slso.org/workshop to learn more about the Composer Workshop and to RSVP for the free January 30 community concert.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required for all audience members ages 5 and older at every Powell Hall event. All patrons are required to wear masks while inside Powell Hall. Visit slso.org/protocols for more information.

The SLSO's 142nd season runs through May 2022. For more information, visit slso.org.

Calendar Listings:
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress leads the orchestra in the inaugural SLSO Composer Workshop concert, 3:00pm, Sunday, January 30, at Powell Hall. The orchestra performs music by four rising composers of today, including Aiyana Braun, Christian Quiñones, Peter S. Shin, and Nicky Sohn. This concert is free, but RSVPs are requested. Visit slso.org/workshop to RSVP.

Sunday, January 30, 2022, at 3:00pm CST

Stephanie Childress, conductor

Nicky SOHN Moon Bunny (First SLSO performances)
Peter S. SHIN Relapse (First SLSO performances)
Christian QUIÑONES Switch-Up (First SLSO performances)
Aiyana BRAUN Refractions (First SLSO performances)

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as a leading American orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 142nd year with the 2021/2022 season and its third with Music Director Stéphane Denève. The SLSO serves the St. Louis region through its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations, honoring its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

The core of the SLSO's artistic foundation is its dynamic partnership with Stéphane Denève. Denève's energetic musicianship, visionary storytelling, and collaborative spirit have created stronger connections with local and visiting artists, as well as advanced the SLSO's role as a leader in music education. The SLSO musical family also includes two resident choruses: the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, founded in 1976, performs choral-orchestral music from the Baroque era to today; and the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, founded in 1994, focuses on the music of African American and African traditions.

In addition to its concerts at historic Powell Hall, which has been the SLSO's home for more than 50 years, the orchestra is an integral part of the vibrant St. Louis community. Orchestra musicians share dozens of education and community performances throughout the region each year at medical facilities, places of worship, community centers, and schools. The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, founded by Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin in 1970, is the region's premiere training orchestra for high school and college students. The SLSO is proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its education programs in 2021.

For more than 15 years, the St. Louis Symphony: Live at the Pulitzer series has highlighted composers and music of today through innovative performances in collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. The SLSO has also served as the resident orchestra for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for more than 40 years and enjoys a long history of robust and enduring artistic collaborations with individuals and organizations locally and around the world.

The Grammy® Award-winning SLSO's impact is expanding with a growing digital presence that helps make music more accessible to all, realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, acclaimed recordings, and regular tours domestically and abroad. This expanding content portfolio includes digital concerts filmed at Powell Hall on the SLSO's high-definition camera equipment; virtual events for patrons, families, and educators; and a robust online education platform that features curriculum materials, interactive programs, activities, and learning opportunities for all ages.

Since the arrival of Marie-Hélène Bernard as President and CEO in 2015, the SLSO has aligned its mission to make music more accessible, while fostering a culture welcoming to all. Building on its momentum, the SLSO serves as a convener of individuals, creators, and ideas, and is committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences. As it continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, the SLSO embraces its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit slso.org.

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