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Zosha Di Castri selected as inaugural New Voices composer, a new program that provides extensive professional development experience for an emerging composer, commissioning works and offering performance opportunities

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas today announced a new creative partnership between music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, the New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony called New Voices. The new project will identify and offer emerging composers professional development experience.

Aiming to reimagine the orchestral commissioning process, each season the three partners of this new program will guide an emerging composer from the Americas through the process of being commissioned, composing and performing new works, while providing resources and support from both the publishing and presenting sides.

The New Voices composer will be chosen on an annual basis, with the selection made by a panel of judges. A preliminary panel made up of Zizi Mueller, President, Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.; John Mangum, Director, Artistic Planning, San Francisco Symphony; and Doug Merilatt, Senior Vice President for Artistic Planning and Programs, New World Symphony will identify composers and invite them to submit portfolios. The final selection will be made by Michael Tilson Thomas and a panel of some of America's most distinguished composers and industry leaders.

The inaugural New Voices composer is Zosha Di Castri, who was selected by a panel including composers John Adams, Steven Mackey, Steven Stucky, and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT). Ms. Di Castri will be commissioned to write two new works, one for a chamber ensemble and one for full orchestra. Both of her new pieces will be work-shopped and premiered at the New World Symphony and then rehearsed and performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Both performances of her orchestral work will be conducted by MTT. In New York, the composer will receive editorial guidance and business experience from music publisher Boosey & Hawkes. Throughout the process, the composer will also have significant access to, and guidance from, the presenters' artistic teams and the publisher in preparation for the premieres.  Performance dates appear below.

"The future of music depends on the nurturing of new composers," said Michael Tilson Thomas.  "We can better support and develop emerging composers by giving them a chance to work more closely with talented musicians and composers and publishers as their works take shape. It's an exciting opportunity for them and for us and I look forward to the adventure ahead in working with Zosha on her new pieces and through their first performances in Miami and San Francisco."

"For a young composer, having the opportunity to work with two such forward-looking orchestras and a renowned publishing company on both a new orchestral work and a piece for chamber ensemble is practically unheard of," said Zosha Di Castri. "I'm particularly interested in investigating the vast sound potential of the orchestra, a medium that is relatively new for me, and am looking forward to digging in to a chamber work of substantial length. It will also be very productive to be able to revise my works between the East and West Coast premieres; young composers rarely have the chance to hear their orchestral works played at all, let alone twice. Most of all, I am excited to meet the musicians, work under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, and learn more about the publishing world."

Boosey & Hawkes, a leading international figure in music publishing, will offer the selected composer first-hand experience in all aspects of publishing, from material preparation to promotion of the music through a comprehensive two-week residency in New York. Boosey & Hawkes will provide support and guidance towards best practices for high-quality score preparation, focusing on the preparation of materials for a premiere, which is paramount to the composer's professional training and development. In addition, the New Voices composer will learn about industry practices, including commission contract preparation, copyright registration and licensing procedures, and how to promote the music through publicity and marketing strategies.

At the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS) co-founded by Michael Tilson Thomas, the New Voices composer will work extensively with MTT, NWS Fellows, professional guest artists, coaches and conductors to work-shop the new commissions and prepare them for their world premiere with the academy. The inaugural New Voices composer Zosha Di Castri will work closely with MTT, who will conduct the premiere of the new work for orchestra April 2013 at the New World Center. Ms. Di Castri's chamber work will be work-shopped with Michael Tilson Thomas, and NWS Fellows the previous week .

At the San Francisco Symphony, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the orchestra will work with the New Voices composer for two full weeks after the works have been work-shopped and premiered in Miami. MTT will lead the Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of the newly commissioned orchestral work in a subscription concert in Davies Symphony Hall and in a second week with MTT and the SFS the composer will work with members of the Orchestra who will perform the new chamber commission as part of their regular chamber music series.  Ms. Di Castri's works will be performed in San Francisco in the fall of 2013.

Zosha Di Castri, the inaugural New Voices composer, is a Canadian composer and pianist living in New York. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University, studying with Fred Lerdahl. After completing a B.Mus. in composition and piano performance at McGill University, Ms. Di Castri moved to Paris to pursue further musical studies. Her composition teachers have included Brian Cherney, Philippe Hurel, Fabien Lévy, and Tristan Murail. She has also worked with Martin Matalon, John Rea, Hanspeter Kyburz, and Beat Furrer at various summer festivals. Her compositions have been performed in Canada, the U.S., Germany and France by such ensembles as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, members of the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, l'Orchestre de la Francophonie canadienne, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and JACK Quartet. She has also participated in a short-term residency at the Banff Centre, the New Music Session at Domaine Forget, and the National Arts Centre's summer composition program. She was recently awarded two SOCAN prizes for chamber music, named a laureate of the 3rd International Composer's Competition for the Hamburger Klangwerktage Festival, had a new piece performed at Acanthes in Metz by members of the Orchestre national de Lorraine, and was commissioned to write new works for The Banff Centre and for Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. She is currently one of the composers in residence for the newly formed Ensemble Portmantô in Montreal.

Photo Credit: David Adamcyk

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