DAVENPORT, IOWA (October 7, 2022) — The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) is one of thirty orchestras taking part in the League of American Orchestras’ Virginia B Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commissions Program. The unprecedented national consortium ensures that new works by women composers, each commissioned by the League, will be infused in orchestra seasons to come, with multiple performances throughout the country.

The consortium’s initial six lead orchestra-composer pairings were previously announced, with more than eighty orchestras applying for the additional twenty-four spots.

The QCSO will partner with composer Angel Lam for a performance of her new work on its final Masterworks concert of the 2024 season scheduled for April 6-7, 2024.

“We are proud and grateful to be a part of this year’s unprecedented 30-orchestra consortium and we are looking forward to bringing Angel Lam’s music to the Quad Cities,” states Brian Baxter, QCSO Executive Director. “Orchestral music is a living, breathing art form and this collaboration that stretches across the US is a clear demonstration of the powerful voices actively making statements with and connecting communities through the orchestra today.”

“We are thrilled to share Angel Lam’s music with our community. Every season we offer a diverse and varied menu of music from many traditions and epochs.  Being part of the Toulmin Commissions Program greatly assists us in continuing to explore and espouse the music of living and underrepresented composers — a hugely important endeavor. We are so very grateful for the opportunity to work with Angel Lam and bring her incredible artistic vision to life.” — Mark Russell Smith, QCSO Music Director.

The new consortium, comprised of orchestras from nineteen US states and Canada, includes the following orchestra-composer pairs (lead orchestras in bold):

Akron Symphony Orchestra (OH) and Gity Razaz

Aspen Music Festival and School (CO) and Wang Lu

Berkeley Symphony (CA) and Gity Razaz

Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, ON) and Gity Razaz

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (OH) and Wang Lu

Columbus Symphony (OH) and Anna Clyne

Dallas Symphony Orchestra (TX) and Arlene Sierra

Des Moines Symphony (IA) and Wang Lu

Detroit Symphony Orchestra (MI) (lead orchestra) and Arlene Sierra

Idaho State — Civic Symphony and Sarah Gibson

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and Arlene Sierra

Jacksonville Symphony (FL) and Angel Lam

Kansas City Symphony (MO) (lead orchestra) and Angel Lam

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (TN) and Sarah Gibson

Lansing Symphony Orchestra (MI) and Sarah Gibson

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Arlene Sierra

National Symphony Orchestra (DC) and Anna Clyne

New York Philharmonic (lead orchestra) and Wang Lu

Orchestra Lumos (CT) and Angel Lam

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (FL) and Anna Clyne

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra (FL) and Wang Lu

The Philadelphia Orchestra (PA) (lead orchestra) and Anna Clyne

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PA) and Sarah Gibson

Portland Columbia Symphony (OR) and Anna Clyne

Quad City Symphony Orchestra (IA) and Angel Lam

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (NY) and Gity Razaz

San Diego Symphony (CA) (lead orchestra) and Gity Razaz

Sarasota Orchestra (FL) (lead orchestra) and Sarah Gibson

Utah Symphony and Opera and Angel Lam

Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WV) and Arlene Sierra

Three of the initial premieres have been scheduled, with more performances to be announced.

Wang Lu’s Surge will be premiered by the New York Philharmonic, Dalia Stasevska conducting, on January 20, 21, and 22, 2023.

Sarah Gibson’s to make this mountain taller will be premiered by Sarasota Orchestra, Carlos Miguel Prieto conducting, on March 31, April 1, and April 2, 2023.

Gity Razaz’s work (title tbd) will be premiered by San Diego Symphony, Rafael Payare conducting, on May 20 and 21, 2023.

The Virginia B Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commissions Program is an initiative of the League of American Orchestras, in partnership with American Composers Orchestra (ACO) and supported by the Virginia B Toulmin Foundation. The program seeks to increase the programming of works by women and nonbinary composers on orchestra stages.

Networking, mentoring, career development, and community-engagement opportunities are built into the program. Consortium orchestras were required to demonstrate a commitment to engaging the composers in rehearsals, networking opportunities, and education or community engagement activities, and orchestras receive funds for marketing efforts and to support composer attendance at performances.

As with the original Women Composers Readings and Commissions program, the new program is embedded in EarShot, an initiative of American Composers Orchestra in collaboration with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. The six commission recipients were selected from women and nonbinary composers who have participated in EarShot residencies.

Read more about the composers on the League’s website.

One of the country’s longest-continuously operating orchestras, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra has presented superb symphonic music for more than a century. The QCSO strives to lead through Masterworks, Pops, Films-in-Concert, and Chamber Music performances, and through artistic and educational partnerships. The QCSO seeks to inspire, entertain, and engage the entire Quad Cities community.

In addition to presenting 25+ performances each season, the QCSO reaches over 13,000 students of all ages throughout the region each year with their Youth Ensembles, Private and Group Lesson Programs, school engagements, Students @ the Symphony, and Symphony Day, which has introduced over 6,000 fourth, and fifth-grade students to a live orchestra performance each year since 1988.

Founded in 1977, American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With a commitment to diversity, disruption, and discovery, ACO produces concerts, middle-school-through-college composer-education programs, and composer-advancement programs to foster a community of creators, audiences, performers, collaborators, and funders. ACO identifies and develops talent, performs established composers, champions those who are lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting gender, racial, ethnic, geographic, stylistic, and age diversity. To date, ACO has performed music by 800 American composers, including over 350 world premieres and newly commissioned works.

ACO offers an array of programs for emerging composers including its own annual EarShot Readings in New York City, which have served over 350 composers since their inception in 1991, and have been offered in partnership with orchestras across the country in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, New Music USA, and American Composers Forum since 2008. Readings composers have gone on to win every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Rome Prizes.

ACO has received numerous awards for its work, including those from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’s outstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded ACO its annual prize for adventurous programming 35 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestra that has done the most for new American music in the United States.” ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Audience Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. Read more: www.americancomposers.org.

Now encompassing all of American Composers Orchestra’s composer advancement initiatives, EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level. Through orchestral readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development, EarShot ensures a vibrant musical future by investing in creativity today.

EarShot Readings, operated in partnership with the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras, provide professional working experiences with orchestras from every region of the country. Over the last 25 years, EarShot has advanced the careers of more than 275 composers. Alumni include some of the most visible artists in the field: Jesse Montgomery, Carlos Simon, Courtney Bryan, Jennifer Higdon, and more. Over half of EarShot composers report that they have received a commission or performance as a direct result of their EarShot Reading, and many have gone on to win every major composition award including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Rome Prizes. Orchestras around the globe have commissioned and performed hundreds of works by ACO alumni.

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 1,800 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher