(By Offbeat Staff) Hailed as a “composer and pianist of panoramic interest” by The New York Times, Courtney Bryan, noted for influences that reflect New Orleans’ eclectic musical traditions, has been named the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s first Creative Partner. The news was announced by Carlos Miguel Prieto, Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin Music Director, and Principal Conductor. Bryan collaborated with the orchestra in the past, including the premiere of her work Rejoice in 2019. She brings creative vitality and collaborative energy to the orchestra’s artistic and community programs. The three-year appointment that started this season extends through June 2023. Bryan joins an artistic leadership team consisting of Prieto and Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins, making the LPO the only major American orchestra whose artistic leadership positions are held exclusively by Black and Latinx artists.
Equally important to her artistic role, Bryan will strengthen the impact of the LPO’s education and community programs. A new project includes work with the LPO’s Music for Life program to workshop the process of improvisation and composition with young members of our New Orleans community. The “Sounds Of” program offers children at partner schools the opportunity to explore the music that surrounds their own lives and hone their creative voices, regardless of any prior musical experience.
Courtney Bryan will have a major concert presence during each year of her residency, including this season’s performances of her woodwind quintet Blooming, and her violin concerto Syzygy with soloist Jennifer Koh, conducted by Prieto. Both will be featured on the LPO digital series, “Orpheum Sessions.” Blooming was released in September; and Syzygy will be released on Friday, March 12 at 7:00 pm CT as part of a concert also featuring Carlos Simon’s This Land and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Clarinet Concerto.
“I am thrilled to serve as the first Creative Partner of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra,” shared Bryan. “Growing up in New Orleans, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has inspired me from an early age, and I am enthusiastic about our upcoming musical, educational, and other creative ventures in the New Orleans community and beyond.”
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