Women Composers Readings and Commissions Program

Congratulations to 2015 commission recipients Andreia Pinto-Correia and Xi Wang, each receiving orchestral commissions of $15,000. 

The League of American Orchestras’ Women Composers Readings and Commissions program is administered with the American Composers Orchestra and EarShot and supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

This year’s program included readings with Buffalo Philharmonic, Berkeley Symphony, and American Composers Orchestra. The program featured career development workshops, as well as mentoring opportunities with composers such as Robert Beaser, Derek Bermel, Rob Deemer, Gabriela Lena Frank, Kevin Puts, Ken Ueno, and Melinda Wagner. Adjudicators for the commission awards were composers Melinda Wagner and Chen Yi, and conductor Joana Carneiro.

Andreia Pinto-Correia and Xi Wang have been selected to receive orchestral commissions of $15,000 each. Partner orchestras to premiere the works will be announced at a later date.

Read program press releases:

2015 Commission Recipients

Photo: Tiago Miranda-Expresso

Andreia Pinto-Correia

Andreia Pinto-Correia is a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. Honors include commissions from the European Union Presidency, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Boston Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Culturgest National Bank of Portugal. Her work Timaeus, a concerto for orchestra commissioned by the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center in memory of Elliott Carter, was recently premiered at the opening concert of the Contemporary Music Festival’s 75th anniversary to rave reviews by The Boston Globe.

Her works have been performed by the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, and the Borromeo and the Mivos String Quartets. She has also been the recipient of an American League of Orchestras/ New Music USA Music Alive Composer Residency, a Rockefeller Foundation Center Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts/Ucross Residency Prize, and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award by the Japan Society. In addition, she was the curator of the Fertile Crescent Festival for Contemporary Music at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Future commissions include works for the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Dance Company, in Portugal; a work for American virtuoso Peggy Pearson for oboe and string trio (oboe quartet), and a piano trio for the extraordinary Horszowsky Trio.

Born in Portugal, Ms. Pinto-Correia began her musical studies in her native Lisbon and received her Masters and Doctoral of Music degrees with Academic Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Bob Brookmeyer and Michael Gandolfi. She attended the Minnesota Composer Institute, the European Network of Opera Academies (ENOA), the American Opera Projects (AOP), the Composers Conference, and the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals. She was a participant in the first EarShot New Music Reading with the Memphis Symphony in 2009.

For more information about Andreia Pinto-Correia, visit her website.


Photo: Eason Kong

Xi Wang

Since arriving in the USA from her native China in 2001, Xi Wang has pursued a whirlwind of musical activities that have made her a rising star in new music. Her unique fusion of Asian and Western instruments and techniques with theatrical and choreographic elements has captivated audiences. She is increasingly in demand for orchestral, chamber, and vocal music.

Xi Wang’s original concert music has been performed worldwide by notable orchestras and ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, Voices of Change, Soli Chamber Ensemble, Tippet String Quartet, among others. She is the recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts award, Meet the Composer, New Music USA, American Music Center, MacDowell Colony residency, as well as prizes from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Xi Wang received her B.M. from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, M.M. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and D.M.A. from Cornell University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Meadow School of Arts of Southern Methodist University. She was a participant in ACO's 2010 Underwood New Music Readings.

For more information on Xi Wang, visit her website.

2014 Commission Recipients

Photo: Martin Chalifour

Julia Adolphe

Twenty-seven year old composer Julia Adolphe’s music has already been described as “alive with invention” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), “colorful, mercurial, deftly orchestrated” (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times) and a “mastery of dynamic as well as harmonic complexity” (Financial Times). Adolphe’s works have received performances across the U.S. and abroad by renowned groups such as the New York Philharmonic, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, the USC Thornton Symphony, JACK Quartet violinist Christopher Otto and cellist Kevin McFarland, Grammy-nominated pianist Aron Kallay, the What’s Next? Ensemble, Nouveau Classical Project, the Cornell University Chorus, and the Great Noise Ensemble, among others. In 2015, Adolphe received a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Adolphe is a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles.  

Current commissions include a viola concerto for the New York Philharmonic and a large choral work for James Conlon and the Cincinnati May Festival. The viola concerto, for Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, is commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the League of American Orchestras, with generous support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. This commission follows on the heels of the New York Philharmonic premiering Adolphe’s orchestral work Dark Sand, Sifting Light as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL in June 2014. A winner of the international EarShot New Music Readings’ competition, Adolphe’s first orchestral work was hailed as “remarkably assured…an upbeat to something grander” (The New Yorker). Additionally, Adolphe is composing an opera set in present-day Iran with librettist Nahal Navidar.

Adolphe currently pursues a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. Prior teachers include Stephen Hartke, Steven Stucky, and Donald Crockett. Adolphe holds a Master of Music degree in music composition from USC and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and the College Scholar Program from Cornell University.

For more information about Julia Adolphe, visit her website.


Photo: Grant Heger

Melody Eötvös

Melody Eötvös (1984) is a Bloomington IN-based Australian composer whose work draws on both multi-media and traditional instrumental contexts.

She has studied with a variety of composers across the globe, including Gerardo Dirié (Australia), Simon Bainbridge (UK), and, most recently Claude Baker & David Dzubay (USA).  She has also studied electronic music with Jeffrey Hass, John Gibson, and Alicyn Warren.  Melody has had her music performed by ensembles/orchestras such as the London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian String Quartet, and has participated in several electronic music festivals including SEAMUS 2011 (US), ACMC 2012 (Australia), and ICMC 2011 (New Zealand).  Current projects include a Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commission administered by the League of American Orchestras, the EarShot Foundation (world premiere: Carnegie Hall October 23rd 2015), guest composer for the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music 2015, a commissioned composer for the Synergy 40x40 project (Sydney, AUS), was a composer fellow at the Aspen Music Festival & School 2015, and will be a Composer resident for the Copland House Residency in May 2016.

Melody holds a Doctor of Music (2014) from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music USA, and a Master of Music (2008) from the Royal Academy of Music, London UK. 

For more information about Melody Eötvös, visit her website

Melody Eötvös’ Red Dirt | Silver Rain received its world premiere at Carnegie Hall in October 2015, performed by American Composers Orchestra and ACO Music Director and Conductor George Manahan.

Learn more about Earshot.

Unprecedented study on subscriptions

"Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model," a new study by Oliver Wyman commissioned by the League, is available to download.

Mid-Winter Managers Meeting & Seminar, Jan. 23-25

Registration is now open for the Mid-Winter Managers Meeting, Jan. 24-25 in New York City; register here. Pre-Meeting Seminar, Jan. 23-24!

Mid-Winter Managers Meeting
and Pre-Meeting Seminar,
January 23-25 

Register here for one or both events. 

Mid-Winter Managers Meeting, January 24-25

The League invites executive directors (and for youth orchestras, administrators) to attend the annual Mid-Winter Managers Meeting, January 24-25, 2016, Sunday afternoon through Monday, held again this year at The Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel in New York City.  This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow executives, share ideas, and learn the latest about what is happening in the field today. This year's plenary will focus on how orchestras can leverage their artistic, reputational, and social capital to help shape their communities’ futures. We’ll hear from ArtPlace America, a partnership of 15 foundations, eight federal agencies, and six financial institutions working to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development. We’ll examine what orchestras can learn about increasing our value to the public through these kinds of projects and explore what it takes get into the mix. Cost: $235 ($200 for youth orchestra staff)

Pre-Meeting Seminar, January 23-24

Please also join us for an important two-day seminar for executive directors—Taking Care of Your Self and Your Staff: Strategies for Personal and Professional Renewalto be held on Saturday, January 23 in the afternoon and the morning of Sunday, January 24 at the offices of the League. Self-care may feel like a luxury, one that you, your busy life, and your staff just can’t afford. But, in truth, self-care is a necessary disciplineone that will enable you to do your best work, to be more fulfilled by it, and to sustain yourself and your organization over time. This seminar, led by leadership development expert Ronnie Brooks, will help you recognize the importance of self-care and then teach you how to care for yourself and create an environment that will nurture the creativity, energy, and effectiveness of your colleagues as well. Cost $235. (Free to executive directors of orchestras in New York City; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for free registration.)

Hotel Reservations

The League has negotiated a rate of $159 plus 18.25% tax at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan. (This is lower than originally publicized.) You can get this rate by making online reservations here. However, we encourage you to check other travel websites (such as Expedia or Travelocity) or to call the hotel – 1 888 233 9527 – to see if you can obtain an even better rate. Rooms must be booked by January 6, 2016 to secure the League’s rate.

We are Grateful to Our Supporters

Grantors Supporting the Pre-Meeting Seminar
The pre-meeting seminar has been made possible by generous grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Sponsors of the Mid-Winter Managers Meeting (in formation)
boomerang carnets | CIB, Opening Night Reception
Colbert Artists Management, Monday Coffee Service Sponsor
TALASKE | Sound Thinking, Name Badge Sponsor

Urgent Action Alert! Tell Congress to #Act4Good and Support Charitable Giving

November 12, 2015

Orchestras have sent hundreds of messages to Congress, seeking reinstatement of expired charitable giving incentives.  Please take a moment to speak up once more. 
As the clock quickly winds down on 2015 and donors turn their attention to end-of-year gifts in support of their communities, orchestras can join nonprofit advocates nationwide taking two simple steps to urge Congress to permanently reinstate policies that support charitable giving: 

  1. Contact Your Members of Congress to ask for permanent reinstatement of expired charitable giving incentives, including the IRA Charitable Rollover. The League's Issue Center gives you background information and the tools you need to quickly send a message, personalized with your story about the impact of charitable gifts made to your orchestra.
  1. Add your orchestra's name to a letter organized by our partners at Independent Sector by December 1, joining with other local and national nonprofit organizations sending a powerful, unified message to elected officials.

The IRA Charitable Rollover provision has expired five times since 2006, leaving nonprofit organizations with fewer resources to support essential work that improves communities across the country. In the coming weeks - and under new leadership dynamics - Congress will be deciding whether to reinstate the IRA Rollover for one year, a few years, or to finally #Act4Good by making the provision a permanent and reliable incentive for donors to give more.
Thank you for taking action!

2016 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview

Just announced! This prestigious showcase takes place on May 10 & 11 in Nashville. Conductors, click here for guidelines & application, due Dec. 22.

#GivingTuesday - A chance to make twice the impact!

Today is a great day to give! And a dollar-for-dollar matching gift makes your gift go twice as far!

Reimagining the Orchestra Subscription Model

A study by Oliver Wyman, commissioned by the League of American Orchestras

“Customized subscriptions are prospering because the dynamics of choice have shifted in their favor. Customers today want flexibility, personalization, and relationships with vendors. Because of that, choose-your-own options could become one third of all subscriptions by 2017.”

-Namita Desai, author of the study and Consultant, Oliver Wyman

For Quick Access

About the Study
The study is based on the largest sales data set from orchestras to date and is the first industry-wide, longitudinal study of ten years of data to focus on revenues and sales trends. The League is grateful to the global consultancy Oliver Wyman for the pro bono time, resources, and expertise it devoted to this initiative as well as the orchestras that provided data for the study (page 43) and the working group (page 40) that guided the research.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions. Thanks for your interest in this important work.

For more information about audience engagement trends, see the Audience Growth Initiative.


The League of American Orchestras is grateful to Oliver Wyman for their donation of time, resources, and expertise. Additional funding is provided by generous grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

New Gift Substantiation Rules Under Consideration

October 22, 2015

Weighing in on IRS "Voluntary" Gift Substantiation Proposal

The League is partnering with the National Council of Nonprofits to share the following important update, and coordinate a response:  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published proposed regulations regarding the "contemporaneous written acknowledgement" requirement for contributions of $250 or more. Under current law, nonprofits must provide donors certain written documentation regarding receipt of donations, such as "the amount of cash and a description of any property other than cash contributed" and "whether any goods and services were provided by the donee organization in consideration for the contribution."

The IRS is proposing that nonprofits, on a voluntary basis, file an alternative new information return to the IRS by February 28 every year, and give a copy of the record of a donation by that date to each contributor of $250 or more to substantiate the contribution. Among other things, the return submitted to the IRS would require the nonprofit to collect the donor's tax identification number, an action which would impose other legal requirements on nonprofits to retain and protect those numbers from identify theft.

The IRS is accepting public comments on the proposed rule change through December 16. The League is partnering with the National Council of Nonprofits and Independent Sector to evaluate the proposed regulations and prepare to submit comments. Please contact Heather Noonan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to describe how the proposed rules would affect your orchestra's recordkeeping, privacy, and other practices. The draft rules predict that, as the proposed new process would be voluntary, "it is expected that donee reporting will be used in an extremely limited number of cases." However, keeping in mind that what is currently proposed to be voluntary could – eventually – be proposed as a mandatory requirement, please share your thoughts on the following:

  • What might be the impact of collecting and reporting tax identification numbers for donors?
  • How would the February 28 filing timeframe impact your orchestra's financial and development operations?

Volunteer Notes Fall 2015

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Volunteer Notes Fall Issue 2015

Mission: The Volunteer Council in partnership with the League of American Orchestras strives to lead, advocate, encourage, support, and serve our member orchestras and their volunteers.
In this issue:

Notes from Linda Weisbruch, Volunteer Council President
Fall – A time for renewing purpose

LindaWeisbruchEmail1.pngFor most, spring symbolizes renewal and rebirth, but in the world of symphony, fall is the season in which we anticipate a most delightful reawakening of our senses. Our orchestras’ new seasons, planned years in advance, are just now coming to fruition. And each fall, we volunteers renew our commitment to help keep the music playing. After planning for a year or more, symphony volunteers across the country are in full flight with fall events – opening night galas and designer showhouses, to name just two of the myriad ways in which we support our symphonies.

The Volunteer Council renews its purpose at this time every year, as well. Our mission states: The Volunteer Council in partnership with the League of American Orchestras strives to lead, advocate, encourage, support, and serve our member orchestras and their volunteers. This year, the Volunteer Council membership represents symphonies in Augusta (GA), Amarillo (TX), Baltimore (MD), Charleston (SC), Charlotte (NC), Cleveland (OH), Huntsville (AL), Kansas City (MO), Lafayette (IN), Little Rock (AK), Marshall (TX), Minneapolis (MN), Munster (IN), Oklahoma City (OK), Philadelphia (PA), San Antonio (TX), and Tyler (TX). Our membership is diverse in both regional location and orchestra size. We so greatly appreciate the generosity of these Council members in the giving of their time and talent

Undoubtedly, the Volunteer Council exists to serve and support your volunteer efforts. Our online resources are unparalleled. For instance, the Gold Book is a state of the art, national project reference database containing detailed descriptions, financials, volunteer requirements, and contact information dating from 2005.  The submission period for projects taking place in 2014-15 has just come to a close. Our deepest gratitude to all of our contributors who dedicated their time to share their organization’s intellectual property and success with their fellow volunteers.

We don’t rest on our laurels. We constantly seek to keep our services and resources relevant to the needs of volunteers everywhere. However, our ability to serve you requires reciprocity.  In order for us to be truly responsive, we need a one on one connection with you and your organization. We cannot do this without your help! So, when a member of the Volunteer Council contacts you, please share your successes and challenges. Better yet, reach out to us with your story. It’s easy – just click here! Your valuable input shapes the path forward, as we renew our commitment to providing you with the very best in volunteer resources and support.

Save the Date!
2016 National Conference
June 9-11, 2016*
Baltimore, MD

Join us in June, 2016 for the League of American Orchestras Annual Conference. Baltimore, the Charm City, will be a gracious host, and has attractions for everyone:

  • National Aquarium
  • Camden Yards
  • Fort McHenry
  • Peabody Institute
  • Fells Point Historic District
… while Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where the Conference hotel is located, is a bustling commercial district full of restaurants, hotels, and retail establishments.

We look forward to hearing the internationally renowned Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in concert, under the direction of Maestra Marin Alsop. The BSO is celebrating their 100th anniversary season, and we plan to laud this achievement with them. For a more in depth look at the Baltimore Symphony, check out this recent article from Baltimore Magazine, with quotes from Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. Additionally, the BSA (Baltimore Symphony Associates) stand ready and willing to assist with Conference preparations. Last but not least, Conference attendees should plan on tasting those delicious crabs! We will be in Baltimore just as the heart of crab season gets underway.

Volunteer Council begins our planning during the fall with the selection of Gold Book and Roundtable winners. Thank you to all those organizations who submitted to the Gold Book this year. We all gain so much from sharing with other volunteer associations. Council members are also engaged in various aspects of Conference programming, dine-arounds, and networking.  

It is our hope that symphony volunteers will learn to prepare themselves for the reality of today and the unknown possibilities of tomorrow.  Online registration and hotel reservations (Baltimore Marriott Waterfront) will open in early 2016. See you in Baltimore!!

*Please note that the main dates of Conference, June 9-11, 2016, are a Thursday – Saturday (this schedule is different than our recent conferences). Additionally, there will be some pre-Conference volunteer activities beginning on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

Volunteer Annual Giving Campaign Goal Reached!

Heartiest congratulations and our sincerest thanks to the 81 volunteers (and volunteer supporters) from Spokane, WA, Canton, OH, Charlotte, NC, and many other cities across the continent who helped us to surpass our goal by donating $45,360.00 to the League’s Annual Fund this fiscal year! By September 30, we had exceeded our goal by 13%! We would like to especially recognize Laura Hyde, immediate past president of the Volunteer Council who hails from Tyler, TX, for her campaign leadership as well as Shirley McCrary, a volunteer from Mooresville, AL, who donated $5,000 as a challenge match to help us reach this goal.

Donations this year enabled the League to provide invaluable resources, networking, and advocacy for all our orchestras. From the National Conference in Cleveland to Gold Book, Volunteer Notes, Symphony magazine, and more, the League champions North America’s orchestras and their volunteers.   

For the new fiscal year that began October 1, we will again tackle a $40,000 annual giving campaign goal for volunteers. One of the Volunteer Council’s most important priorities under consideration is to expand the League’s Noteboom Governance Center educational programs to include volunteer association. The skills and experience that volunteers bring to their associations and their orchestras can be the difference between success and treading water.  

For more information or to make a donation to the 2016 volunteer annual giving campaign, please contact Samara Ungar at 646 822 4008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the online donation page.

Trivial Pursuits with a Higher Purpose?

True or False:  Re-evaluating and updating job descriptions every year is invaluable to keeping these important documents relevant.

Multiple Choice:  According to recent research, which of the following defines the 21st century volunteer?  

  1. needs close supervision;
  2. will volunteer for only one organization at a time;
  3. needs a regular fixed schedule so they can plan around it;
  4. wants to make a difference in an organization.

Discuss:  Which area in an organization should be charged with identifying future leaders?

Questions like these abound in this year’s new board game, The Golden Mean to Memorable Membership Results, created by the Volunteer Council. Introduced at the League’s 2015 Annual Conference in Cleveland, it was an instantaneous hit with our volunteer delegates. Along the way to winning, knowledge about membership recruitment, mentoring, retention, and development is imparted. Group discussions are prompted and are often quite lively.

Players travel a colorful spiral game path and are required to answer question cards based on color-coded landing spaces – orange for recruitment, blue for mentoring, green for retention –you get the picture! And, there is, of course, a trip to the jail for those unlucky board travelers.

Conceived as a companion piece to the Leadership game, Chart a Path for Leadership Season by Season, which was introduced in Seattle in 2014, downloadable files for recreating the new Membership Game are available online on the League’s 2015 Conference Materials site. Files for The Leadership game can be found here.

And, here are the answers you’ve been waiting for…
TRUE:  Subtle changes can become monumental disconnect quicker than one might think. Ask your committee chairs to review their job descriptions and include any revisions in their year-end reports.  Including a timeline of activities is very helpful where possible.

D)  21st century volunteers do not want to be micromanaged, will volunteer for multiple organizations, want flexibility in their schedule, and wants to make a difference as a result of their work, not just a contribution.

Traditionally, this is a role for Nominating. However, other committees can be formed to oversee this critical function. The important thing is that this is ongoing and well documented.  Your future depends on it!

Have a Headache of a Challenge? No Need for Aspirin, Watch a Webinar Instead

The League of American Orchestras’ online resources are unparalleled for symphony volunteers. The Volunteer Council, in conjunction with League staff, has developed webinars on fundraising, membership, strategic planning, social media, and leadership to address many of the challenges facing our organizations across the nation. All are easily accessed and free.

These online presentations are narrated by Volunteer Council members in an easy to understand format which viewers can follow at their own pace. To sign up, simply go to the League website’s volunteer webinar page to view your choices of topic. Once you submit your selection, you will receive an automatic email from the League granting you access to view the actual webinar, plus the script and a .pdf of the PowerPoint you can browse.  

Planning is currently underway to create a new webinar – a how-to for making great Gold Book submittals. We will include explicit instructions about the online submission procedure itself (the mechanics), as well as an overview of what information every good submittal includes. Pairing the new webinar with the League’s new Gold Book website will fulfill the Volunteer Council’s vision to enable volunteer knowledge sharing on an unprecedented level via an almost effortless submittal process.

Look for our new webinar next spring – in plenty of time for Gold Book submittals for the 2015-16 season!
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