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

Ms. Thomas has composed a work for a flute, violin, cello and clarinet ensemble.

Join us on July 4, 2021 during the Virtual MTAC Convention for the World Premiere.

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 poetryThe 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, in which she commissioned and programmed the work of many living composers.

Led by Santa Fe Opera in association with San Francisco Opera, Thomas has been commissioned by a consortium of opera companies, including: • 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 received its world premiere on October, 26, 2019, at the Santa Fe Opera. This project was 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 Chicagoan 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.






Daniel Felsenfeld

Hue & Cry
For Solo Piano

BCP Music


Bruce Stark

Three Dances, Flute, Violin and Piano Trio

Belle-Kane Publishing


Lei Liang

Tree Rings, One Piano Four Hands



Michael Daugherty

The Old Man and the Sea
For Violin, Cello, and Piano

Peermusic Classical/Boosey and Hawkes
and Michael Daugherty Music


Joan Tower

Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
For Solo Piano

AMP/G. Schirmer Rental Library


Derek Bermel

Four Homages for Piano
For Piano

Peermusic Classical


Katrina Wreede

For Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano

Vlazville Publishing


David Amram

Cancion de Verano
For Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation


Robert Aldridge

Three Waltzes
For Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation


David Rakowski

For Piano Four Hands

C.F. Peters Corporation


Chen Yi

From Old Peking Folklore
For Violin and Piano

Theodore Presser


Paul Chihara

Trio for Flute (Violin), Cello and Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation


Gabriela Lena Frank

Danza de los Saqsampillos
For Two Pianos

G. Schirmer


William Bolcom

*Nine New Bagatelles
For Piano

E. B. Marks Music, Hal Leonard


Libby Larsen

For Piano

Oxford University Press


Steven Stucky

*Meditation and Dance
For Clarinet and Piano

Theodore Presser


Judith Lang Zaimont

In My Lunchbox
For Piano (intermediate)

Vivace Press


Melissa Hui

*and blue sparks burn
For Violin and Piano

Available through MTAC


Robert Maggio

Dreams from Childhood
Piano Duet (intermediate)

Theodore Presser


Bruce Adolphe

Well, It’s Not exactly Beethoven
For Piano

PollyRhythm Productions


Martin Rokeach

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

Roncorp Publications


Vivian Fung

Violin, Cello & Piano

Available through MTAC


Samuel Adler

*Concerto No. 2
For Piano & Orchestra

Theodore Presser


Samuel Zyman

Two Motions in One Movement
For Piano

Theodore Presser


Seymour Bernstein

Fantasy on a Theme by Francisco
For Piano

G. Schirmer


Stephen Hartke

The Piano Dreams of Empire
For Piano

MMB Music, Inc.


Donald Waxman

Arabesques and Ostinato
For Two Pianos

Galaxy Music Corp. (ECS)


Emma Lou Diemer

Three Piano Pieces

Plymouth Music/Elkin Music


Gunther Schuller

Music For Young People
Flute and Piano Trio



David Ott

*Sinfonia for Cello and Piano

Park Music Press


Samuel Adler

*The Road to Terpsichore
For Piano

G. Schirmer


William Albright

*The Machine Age
For Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation


Leslie Bassett

For Piano

C.F. Peters Corporation


Richard Felciano

Five Short Piano Pieces

Available through MTAC

Friends of Todays Music4

For more information, contact the MTAC State Office.