Friends of Today’s Music


Friends of Todays Music3Friends of Today’s Music commissions new works specifically for young musicians. Established in 1986 by Dr. Bob Bennett, the project has supported the creation and publication of new works by leading composers of our time. Each commissioned work is premiered by young musicians during the MTAC convention while the audience follows along with the published score. This program provides students the unique opportunity to collaborate with the composer of the piece, and demonstrates the importance of playing music not only from the past but also music being created by today’s composers.


Friends of Today’s Music Commissioned Composer
Augusta Read Thomas

Join us at the MTAC Convention
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Hilton Los Angeles Airport
This event is free and open to the public.

For more information contact FTM chair: Dr. Minji Noh

The music of Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964 in New York) is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful – “it is boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of the instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music.” (Philadelphia Inquirer) “This is music that is always in motion, as if coming perpetually out of a magician’s hat. It leads but doesn’t direct, and is playful and subtle, dancing on light feet. It is music that conjures.” (Huffington Post)

A Grammy winner, her impressive body of works embodies unbridled passion and fierce poetry.  The New Yorker called her “a true virtuoso composer.”  Championed by such luminaries as Barenboim, Rostropovich, Boulez, Eschenbach, Salonen, Maazel, Ozawa, and Knussen, she rose early to the top of her profession.

Her discography includes 87 commercially recorded CDs and she has composed over 50 works for orchestra.

She won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize among many other coveted awards.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Thomas was the longest-serving Mead Composer-in-Residence for Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez with the Chicago Symphony from 1997 through 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle – one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music.  During her residency, Thomas not only premiered nine commissioned orchestral works, but also was central toward establishing the thriving MusicNOW series on which she commissioned and programmed the work of many living composers.

Thomas has been commissioned by a consortium of opera companies, led by Santa Fe Opera in association with San Francisco opera, that includes: • Lyric Opera Of Kansas City • Minnesota Opera • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis •San Francisco Opera • Santa Fe Opera • Sarasota Opera • Seattle Opera. Her new opera will receive its world premiere on October, 26 2019 at the Santa Fe Opera. This project is made possible by generous funding from the Melville Hankins Family Foundation and The Andrew Mellon Foundation.  She also has current commissions from the Boston Symphony, Tanglewood Music Festival, Martha Graham Dance Company, and a commission for a work for large chorus and orchestra from National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

In February 2015, music critic Edward Reichel wrote, “Augusta Read Thomas has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today. Her music has substance and depth and a sense of purpose. She has a lot to say and she knows how to say it — and say it in a way that is intelligent yet appealing and sophisticated.”

The New York Times article of March 6, 2015 states that Thomas had the distinction of having her work performed more frequently in 2013-2014 than any other living ASCAP composer, according to statistics from performing rights organization.  Former Chairperson of the American Music Center, she serves on many boards, is a generous citizen in the profession at large, and, according to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, “has become one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American music.”  In 2016 she was named Chicagoian of the year.

– Provided by Music Publisher G. Schirmer, Inc.

Friends-of-Todays-Music1Friends of Today’s Music Commissioned Works are made possible through the generous support of the Aaron Copland Fund, the Beyster Family Fund at the San Diego Foundation, and individual donations. Anonymous, individual, and MTAC member contributions are accepted throughout the year. To donate, please contact the Veronica Reyes, Finance Associate, (415) 978-9668, toll free (800) 834-3340 ext. 109

2016

Michael Daugherty

The Old Man and the Sea
For violin, cello, and piano

Peermusic Classical/Boosey and Hawkes
and Michael Daugherty Music

Year

Composer

Title

Publisher

2019

Daniel Felsenfeld

Hue & Cry
For Solo Piano

BCP Music

2018

Bruce Stark

Three Dances, Flute, Violin and Piano Trio

Belle-Kane Publishing

2017

Lei Liang

Tree Rings, One Piano Four Hands

Schott

2015

Joan Tower

Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
For Solo Piano

AMP/G. Schirmer Rental Library

2014

Derek Bermel

Four Homages for Piano
For Piano

Peermusic Classical

2013

Katrina Wreede

I-5
For Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano

Vlazville Publishing

2012

David Amram

Cancion de Verano
For Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation

2011

Robert Aldridge

Three Waltzes
For Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation

2010

David Rakowski

Étude-Fantasies
For Piano Four Hands

C.F. Peters Corporation

2009

Chen Yi

From Old Peking Folklore
For Violin and Piano

Theodore Presser

2008

Paul Chihara

Fantasy
Trio for Flute (Violin), Cello and Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation

2007

Gabriela Lena Frank

Danza de los Saqsampillos
For Two Pianos

G. Schirmer

2006

William Bolcom

*Nine New Bagatelles
For Piano

E. B. Marks Music, Hal Leonard

2005

Libby Larsen

PentaMetrics
For Piano

Oxford University Press

2004

Steven Stucky

*Meditation and Dance
For Clarinet and Piano

Theodore Presser

2003

Judith Lang Zaimont

In My Lunchbox
For Piano (intermediate)

Vivace Press

2002

Melissa Hui

*and blue sparks burn
For Violin and Piano

Available through MTAC

2001

Robert Maggio

Dreams from Childhood
Piano Duet (intermediate)

Theodore Presser

2000

Bruce Adolphe

Well, It’s Not exactly Beethoven
For Piano

PollyRhythm Productions

1999

Martin Rokeach

*can’t wait
Violin ( flute) Clarinet & Piano

Roncorp Publications

1998

Vivian Fung

Scherzo
Violin, Cello & Piano

Available through MTAC

1997

Samuel Adler

*Concerto No. 2
For Piano & Orchestra

Theodore Presser

1996

Samuel Zyman

Two Motions in One Movement
For Piano

Theodore Presser

1995

Seymour Bernstein

Fantasy on a Theme by Francisco
For Piano

G. Schirmer

1994

Stephen Hartke

The Piano Dreams of Empire
For Piano

MMB Music, Inc.

1993

Donald Waxman

Arabesques and Ostinato
For Two Pianos

Galaxy Music Corp. (ECS)

1992

Emma Lou Diemer

Three Piano Pieces

Plymouth Music/Elkin Music

1991

Gunther Schuller

Music For Young People
Flute and Piano Trio

AMP/Schirmer

1990

David Ott

*Sinfonia for Cello and Piano

Park Music Press

1989

Samuel Adler

*The Road to Terpsichore
For Piano

G. Schirmer

1988

William Albright

*The Machine Age
For Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation

1987

Leslie Bassett

*Configurations
For Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation

1986

Richard Felciano

Five Short Piano Pieces

Available through MTAC

Friends of Todays Music4

For more information, contact:
Friends of Today’s Music and Contemporary Music Seminar State Chair, Dr. Minji Noh