UT receives $400,000 Mellon Foundation grant for new classical music

Editor’s note: This article was originally published September 12, 2014

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $400,000 to UT’s Texas Performing Arts so that the organization may continue to develop new classical music.

Three years ago, the TPA — the university’s performing arts presenter — received $450,000 from the Mellon Foundation for the same initiative. That grant resulted in several notable commissions and project including the upcoming premiere of Nico Muhly’s How Little You Are: A Choir of Voices & A Choir of Guitars,” April 18 at the Bass Concert Hall , Several years in the making and with a host of collaborators — Texas Performing Arts, Conspirare and Austin Classical Guitar — Muhly’s sprawling piece for three guitar quartets and choir uses texts from Texas’ original settlers to tell the story of their hope, fear and loneliness on the frontier.

The new grant monies will support extended artist residencies with innovative ensemble So Percussion (performing March 11-12), Eighth Blackbird and the Kronos Quartet.

Monies will also be used to commission new works by faculty composers Yevgeniy Sharlat and Donald Grantham and support a a co-commission with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus by Pultizer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts.

Last season the Miro Quartet, UT string quartet in residency, premiered Puts’ “How Wild the Sea,” a co-commission also supported by Mellon Foundation grant money.

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