I am especially proud of the multi-dimensional commissioning projects developed in partnership with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and some of the worlds most fantastic up-and-coming composers of today. These projects feature great performances of great new music that connects deeply to our community and radiates out to the world. My most recent projects include:
Jimmy López Bellido: Symphony No. 3: Altered Landscape The Reno Phil recently commissioned an important new symphonic work by composer Jimmy López Bellido. Informed and inspired by the Nevada Museum of Art’s “Altered Landscape, Carol Franc Buck Collection” of photography, his “Symphony No. 3: Altered Landscape” engages themes of humanity’s accelerated consumption of the Earth’s resources, the pandemic-imposed pause we have withstood, and the quest for a future of harmony and sustainable balance on Earth.
Composed entirely in 2020, the Reno Phil gave the world premiere of the work on May 7, 2022, and seeks orchestral partners around the globe to perform the piece during the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons. Performances of “Altered Landscape” are intended to inspire audiences, build awareness, and act as a catalyst for important conversations between diverse groups and industries about how we humans utilize and deploy our planet’s finite resources. In addition, this project offers orchestras the opportunity to take tangible action against climate change through a partnership with the Nature Conservancy. In order to cover hard costs and “pay-it-forward,” participating orchestras will contribute a minimum of $1,000 to the The Nature Conservancy.
Altered Landscape-Project Intro video:
World premiere performance
Other Recent Projects:
Zhou Tian: Transcend (2019) commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Zhou Tian describes the composition: “Begun in 1862 and completed in 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad effectively linked the US from east to west for the first time. Its cultural heritage includes the contribution of a thousands-strong Chinese and Irish workforce who toiled in severe weather and cruel working conditions. Numerous “hell on wheels” towns proliferated along the construction route and became famous for rapid growth and infamous for lawlessness. As the settlements pushed westward, there was a mixing of ethnic groups and cultures. Unfortunately, as the daunting task of laying tracks over difficult terrain increased, many workers perished, and many of the rest were denied the American dream by the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. But those who stayed brought traditional art and music into the fabric of American culture.”
Transcend was initiated by the Reno Phil. Co-commissioners include the Utah Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, Boise Philharmonic, Arapahoe Philharmonic, Central Wisconsin Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, Evanston Symphony, Idaho State-Civic Symphony, Michigan State University and Stanford University.
Transcend-Project Intro Video:
Transcend-World Premiere Performance:
HISTORY OF RENO PHIL COMMISSIONS led by Laura Jackson
Jimmy López Bellido: Symphony No. 3: Altered Landscape (2020) engages themes of climate change and imagines a hopeful future of sustainable balance in relationship with the planet
Monica Houghton: Respectfully yours (2020) evokes the natural beauty of the Great Basin and reminds us of its fragility and need for careful stewardship
Zhou Tian: Transcend (2019) commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad
Carlos Simon: Orchestral version of Amen! (2019) recreates Carlos’ childhood experience growing up in an African American Pentecostal church
Jonathan Leshnoff: Guitar Concerto (2014) Commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the Reno Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias
Michael Gandolfi: Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 (2013) commemorating the 200th anniversary of the writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key
Sean Shepherd: Silvery Rills (2011) and Desert Garden (2011) Sean’s memories of growing up in Nevada as part of a fourth-generation Nevadan family