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Geoffrey Gordon is second composer commissioned by the American Music Project

Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

By David Fleshler

Geoffrey Gordon's Clarinet Quintet will be premiered by the JACK Quartet in New York and Chicago in the fall of 2015.

Geoffrey Gordon’s Clarinet Quintet will be premiered by the JACK Quartet in New York and Chicago in the fall of 2015.

A Clarinet Quintet by Geoffrey Gordon is the second work commissioned by the American Music Project, a foundation established to promote music from the nation’s past and present.

The work will receive its world premiere in New York in the fall of 2015, performed by the JACK Quartet, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the foundation.

“I am tremendously honored to have been selected for this American Music Project commission,” said Gordon, in the release.  “It is a rare opportunity to be a part of an exciting new initiative that promotes American music, both contemporary and of the past.

“And I am absolutely thrilled to be working with the superb JACK Quartet–without doubt one of the finest chamber ensembles on the planet.”

The American Music Project was founded last summer by Lawrence A. Johnson, founder and editor of The Classical Review, Inc., which operates classical music websites in Chicago, New York, Boston and South Florida. The AMP foundation was created to commission new works and fund the performance of neglected American works of the past.

Johnson said he was deeply impressed with Gordon’s music from the beginning, when he heard the composer’s Tiger Psalms performed at a Fulcrum Point New Music concert.

“I loved the edge, vitality and originality of Geoff’s music,”  he said. “And I’m delighted that he is writing a new work for the Project.”

After the New York premiere, the JACK Quartet will perform the Clarinet Quintet in Chicago. The full program, concert details and venues will be announced at a later date.

The first composer to receive a commission from the foundation was Amy Wurtz, whose Piano Quintet received its world premiere October 5 in Chicago, at a concert that also featured works of David Diamond and Irving Fine performed by Chicago Q Ensemble.

While the foundation will not be commissioning any additional works until 2016, grants will be selectively awarded to musicians, ensembles and organizations programming American music in the 2015-16 season, the foundation said in a news release. The grant application form will be posted on the AMP site Friday, December 19. Applicants have until April 1, 2015 to submit proposals.

Johnson also announced a campaign to raise $100,000 for the American Music Project.

“The plan is to raise $5,000 each from twenty individuals or organizations, which will enable us to do everything we need to do in 2015-16,” he said. “That includes concert and commissioning fees as well as giving several grants to ensembles and organizations to underwrite performances of neglected American repertory.”

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