Hewlett, Gerbode Foundations Award Six Commissions for Composers

Hewlett, Gerbode Foundations Award Six Commissions for Composers

The Wallace Alexander Gerbode and William and Flora Hewlett foundations have announced $300,000 in grants awarded in support of the creation and production of new work by California composers.

Six organizations in the Bay Area were awarded $50,000 each to commission and premiere new music compositions — with at least $12,500 of each grant paid to the composer as a commissioning fee and the rest earmarked to cover the presenting organization's expenses.

Selected with the help of an advisory board of musicians, composers, and critics, the recipients include Circuit Network (San Francisco Electronic Music Festival), whose co-founder, Pamela Z, will create a five-movement work inspired by the history, architecture, engineering, and cultural impact of bridges; Door Dog Music Productions (S.F. World Music Festival), for which Anuradha Sridhar will create songs for women and girls as part of The War Project: Propaganda, Protest, Prayer; Gamelan Sekar Jaya, whose former director Wayne Vitale will create a suite of five experimental works using new and traditional Balinese instruments; the Kronos Quartet, for whom Jonathan Berger will create My Lai, an opera monodrama scored for tenor, string quartet, traditional Vietnamese percussion instruments, and digitally processed sounds; the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, which will work with Amy X Neuburg to develop a song cycle about hunger in America for voice, live looping, electronics, and chamber orchestra; and Volti, whose resident composer Mark Winges will bring together the Volti adult choir with the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir for an updated treatment of the Pandora's box myth.

"This year, our grants will support six stellar music projects featuring a wide array of aesthetics, different genres, and myriad traditions," said Gerbode Foundation president Stacie Ma'a. "Of particular note was how many of the contemporary composers were infusing narrative structures and voice into their compositions."