Composer Spotlight: Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions

YouTube, Facebook Live

Event Details

Central to its values of diversity, disruption, and discovery, American Composers Orchestra partners each year with orchestras nationwide through its EarShot Readings, which has identified and championed some of the most important rising compositional voices in the orchestral field since its founding in 1991.

To deepen the creative community around this work, the Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program, an initiative of the League of American Orchestras in partnership with ACO, supports women and nonbinary composers who are alumni of EarShot to write a new orchestral work to be premiered by participating orchestras across the country each year. Beginning in 2022, the program to a consortium model, supporting 6 composers to write works that will be premiered by 30 orchestras across nineteen U.S. states and Canada.

Whether you are looking to discover composers new to you for your orchestra’s programming, or simply share the boundless curiosity that comes with the discovery of new work, this virtual event highlights five composers whose works will soon premiere as part of the program. Get to know each artist, hear recordings of their music, and catch an inside look into the relationships they’ve built with the orchestras that will premiere their works.

Featured composers, works, orchestras, and moderators are listed below.


David Styers, Director, Learning and Leadership Programs, League of American Orchestras

Garrett McQueen, Director Artist Equity, American Composers Orchestra

Composers, Partner Orchestras & Premieres 

Wang Lu, New York Philharmonic | Premiere:  January 20-23, 2023

Sarah Gibson, Sarasota Symphony Orchestra | Premiere: March 31-April 2, 2023

Gity Razaz, San Diego Symphony Orchestra | Premiere: May 20-21, 2023

Angel Lam, Kansas City Symphony | Premiere: TBD

Arlene Sierra, Detroit Symphony | Premiere: TBD

The Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program (formerly the Women Composers Readings and Commissions Program) has created partnerships between composers and orchestras since 2014, and 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. All Toulmin Commission winners were participants of past EarShot readings. The Virginia B. Toulmin 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. 

Our Mission & Vision

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

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