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Home » Orchestra News » Commissions in the Time of COVID-19

Commissions in the Time of COVID-19


Unique orchestral works are emerging as a result of commissions in response to the pandemic and in tune with social distancing.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) has commissioned a new work from composer José Luis Domínguez, Gratias Tibi, for physically distanced orchestra and choir, to express gratitude to the state’s frontline medical and essential workers. The Montclair State University Singers will join NJSO musicians for a virtual world premiere on June 8. Performers will all record their parts individually and each part will be edited together to create the finished work.

The commission is an extension of NJSO at Home, the orchestra’s collection of concert recordings and other video content featuring NJSO musicians sharing at-home performances, instrument demonstrations, and insight into their lives. NJSO musicians are represented by Local 16-248 (Newark/Paterson, NJ).

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Pops will commission more than a dozen composers to write one-minute fanfares for solo instruments. The Fanfare Project will feature works by an initial group of 13 composers, with additional artists to be announced. Each composer will choose a musician with whom to collaborate on the piece; the world premieres will be video-recorded by the soloists from their homes and released one-by-one, along with the score. The inspiration for the project originated with the 18 fanfares commissioned by the CSO in 1942 to support the Allied war effort, that included Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. The orchestra’s musicians are represented by Local 1 (Cincinnati, OH).

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