Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Impact In The Community Continues

by Tucson Symphony

Young Composers Festival To Feature New Music By 22 Students

Music Director José Luis Gomez to Conduct Saturday & Sunday Sessions at Catalina Foothills High School

(Tucson, AZ)─Go behind the scenes into the world of composing music when the Tucson Symphony Orchestra hosts its annual Young Composers Festival featuring free lectures, Q&A sessions and TSO performances. Music composed by this year’s students will be premiered by the TSO String Quintet at the Young Composers Festival on Friday, May 17 at the Tucson Symphony Center, and on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19 when José Luis Gomez conducts the full orchestra at Catalina Foothills High School, the same venue where the popular TSO MasterWorks Series is performed. A full schedule of events can be found here.

A nationally recognized program, the TSO Young Composers Project utilizes the Orchestra as a living laboratory, and is the largest, longest-running and most comprehensive orchestra composition program for youth ages eight to 18. In the 26 years since its inception, the Young Composers Project has produced more than 400 new works by young composers.

“The Tucson Symphony’s mission is to engage, educate and transform our community through live musical experiences of the highest quality,” said Alana Richardson, TSO Director of Education.  “The 2019 Young Composers Festival is sure to inspire all who witness the creative process, and it marks a year of serving over 40,000 children and their families through our award-winning programs in the schools and concert hall.”

Over the nine-month program, participants meet with instructor Ilona Vukovic-Gay, TSO Assistant Principal Viola, twice per month from September through May. They attend TSO dress rehearsals, meet guest artists and composers, and work with TSO musicians culminating in the public reading sessions which produce study recordings of the young composers’ newly created pieces. This year, 25 new compositions will be premiered.

Graduates of the Young Composers Project have had their work featured on the NPR program, From the Top, and their pieces have been performed by the Atlanta, Tucson and Kennett Symphony Orchestras as well as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Carnegie Hall. Students have gone on to study at prestigious conservatories and universities and to work in the field of composition. They have won ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Young Composers Project has been featured in articles about young and contemporary composers in Symphony Magazine.

Recent graduates of the Young Composers Project include Anthony Constantino, who won a commission as part of Carnegie Hall’s Carmina Burana Choral Project and is now a graduate student at UCLA. The TSO debuted Constantino’s Luminosity’s Witness, a piece commissioned by José Luis Gomez, on the Classic Series in the 2017-18 season. Gomez has commissioned a piece for orchestra and chorus by another former student, Robert Lopez-Hanshaw, to be premiered in January 2020. Lopez-Hanshaw is currently the choir director at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson.

The Young Composers Project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts for the past 12 consecutive years. In making the award, the NEA cited the high level of composition by young participants, the strong quality of the arts education and learning, and the setting of goals for youths to achieve.

Programs, artists and dates are subject to change.

Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158