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Ensemble for These Times Announces the Winning Commissions From its 2023 Call for Scores

LawEnsemble for These Times Announces the Winning Commissions From its 2023 Call for Scores

The winners of the Ensemble for These Times and Luna Composition Lab’s 2023 Call for Scores have been announced to the public.

Commission winners are Lucy Chen’s work for cello and piano, Madeine Clara Cheng‘s commission for soprano, cello, piano, and tape, and Caleb Palka’s piece written for soprano and piano. Sage Shurman’s piano trio, “Composure” also receives special recognition, although her work has already programmed as the Ensemble’s 2024-25 season opener.

The winners will receive one-on-one mentoring with Elinor Armer, a member of Ensemble for These Times’s Advisory Council and San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty. In addition to coaching, the commissions will be performed at the Ensemble’s annual series of music by women and nonbinary composers concert on Jan. 25, 2025, at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

Composer, saxophonist, and pianist Cheng is studying Composition and Business Law as a Presidential Scholar at the University of Southern California. A 2023 YoungArts Award Winner and recipient of the ICEBERG New Music and Lift Up Our Voices scholarships, she has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s May Festival and the UUCWC Crossing Chorale. Her compositions have been performed by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Bergen International Festival, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Cheng is an alumna of the Tanglewood Institute, for which she received a full scholarship and the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program.

Palka has been performed/commissioned by the Bergen International Festival/Norwegian Soloists’ Choir Academy, Britt Festival Orchestra, Cincinnati May Festival/Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, International Contemporary Ensemble, Opera Omaha, Eugene Symphony, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Mivos Quartet, Portland Piano International, and others. He is an alumnus of the Luna Composition Lab and Fear No Music’s Young Composers Project. He has received a BMI Honorable Mention and Tribeca Emerging Composer honor.

Since its inception in 2016, Luna Composition Lab’s mission has been to close the gender gap in the field of music composition. Founders Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid provide mentorship, education, and resources for young female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming composers ages 13-18.


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