ASO Co-Commissioning Project “Embracing 21st Century Voices”

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces Co-Commissioning Project for Emerging Composers with Partner Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music

Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 30, 2023

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music (GLFCAM) are pleased to announce a multi-year co-commissioning partnership, Embracing 21st Century Voices. The partnership supports new symphonic works composed by alums of GLFCAM core programs. 

ASO Artistic Director and Conductor José-Luis Novo and GLFCAM founder Gabriela Frank have enjoyed a long and productive artistic relationship. Ms. Frank previously served as ASO’s Composer-in-Residence and wrote two orchestral works dedicated to the ASO, one of which was to celebrate the ASO’s 50th anniversary in 2012.

Novo and Frank formalized the multi-year “Embracing 21st Century Voices” partnership after the successful co-commission and premiere of Resonance | Rush | Ride by GLFCAM alum Jessica Hunt for ASO’s 60th anniversary in May 2022. The agreement stipulates commitment to award a $20,000 co-commission fee plus copy funds each year to a mutually agreed upon composer. 

In addition to the award and prior to each premiere, GLFCAM composers receive an orchestral reading of their work in progress, feedback from maestro Novo, and mentorship from Ms. Frank. The ASO will perform the premiere of each new work at a Masterworks concert during consecutive seasons, and the compositions are to be recorded for later release on the London-based Toccata label. 

Dr. Michael-Thomas Foumai

We are pleased to announce Michael-Thomas Foumai and Nicky Sohn as recipients of the initial two instances of the Embracing 21st Century Voices co-commissioning partnership. Mr. Foumai, a native of Hawaii, is the Director of Artistic Engagement and the first Composer-in-Residence for the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra. He will premier Living Pono, a work for harp and orchestra during ASO’s Masterworks VI performances at Maryland Hall in Annapolis and the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda on May 5, 6 & 7, 2023. Harpist Charles Overton, a GLFCAM performer-mentor, will be the guest soloist for Foumai’s premiere. 



Nicki Sohn

Nicky Sohn will write her commission to be premiered in the spring of 2024. Ms. Sohn graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree, a Diploma of Piano Performance from the Mannes College of Music, and a Master of Music Diploma from The Juilliard School. After numerous performances and compositions of important works for orchestra, ballet, opera, and television, she is pursuing a fully-funded doctoral degree at The Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. 





About the ASO

The mission of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is to inspire, educate, and enrich lives near and far by creating extraordinary musical experiences with uncompromising artistic excellence. As we celebrate our 61st year in Annapolis, we are more intent than ever on bringing More Music, To More Places, For More People.

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra offers subscription packages, both for in-person and virtual viewing, as well as tickets for single in-person programs. For more information and purchase tickets or subscriptions, see AnnapolisSymphony.org/events or contact the box office at 410-263-0907.

About Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music
Founded in 2017 by internationally acclaimed composer and pianist Gabriela Lena Frank,
GLFCAM helps composers of any aesthetic and demographic, and from emerging through mid-
career levels, to develop self-determined 21st century lives. GLFCAM’s mission centers on the
creative habit, community, and eco-citizenship, forming years-long relationships with
composers. As a result, composers are provided a rich array of opportunities such as
collaborating on new works with renowned performer-mentors; taking online classes and
practicums; composing large scale symphonies under fair commission rates with readings of the
work-in-progress (graciously supported by Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting); teaching in youth
music programs in underserved rural areas; participating in a multi-year peer-supported study
group on climate intelligence and the arts; and becoming skilled communicators – cultural
witnesses – in both spoken and written word. GLFCAM alumni are leading composers in the
international music fields as well as teachers and professors, non-profit administrators,
therapists, hospice workers, environmentalists and civic volunteers.

Media Inquiries

Please contact Diana Love, Director of Marketing and Communications. Phone: 410-267-3631. Email: DLove@AnnapolisSymphony.org