New Amsterdam was honored to team up with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a unique residency that focused on artistic exploration into many forms of music in a symphonic format. Over the two-year residency, the ISO periodically showcased the sophisticated, adventurous sound of highly-trained composers and instrumentalists from the New Amsterdam community. In addition, New Amsterdam worked with the Orchestra in developing educational activities and community outreach programs that brought the open-minded ethos of NewAm into direct engagement with the needs of the greater ISO community.
The residency was artistically unveiled in the ISO’s Lilly Classical Series concerts on February 1 and 2, 2013, when the ISO presented New Am co-director and composer William Brittelle’s Dunes, a world premiere work which Brittelle wrote after a trek to Death Valley. To help visualize his inspiration, Brittelle invited videographer Stephen S. Taylor (filmmaker for the opera Song from the Uproar) on his trek to interview the composer and document the creation and inspiration of the piece. The entire film can be viewed here, and was shown for audiences during the ISO’s pre-concert Words on Music program.
For the next leg of the residency, several artists from the NewAm community took the stage with the ISO for a special concert event on March 9, 2013. Vocalist Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) was the featured soloist in NewAm co-director Sarah Kirkland Snider’s highly-lauded song cycle Penelope during the first half of the program. Later in the performance, composer Son Lux joined the ISO on stage and perform various pieces from his recent and critically-acclaimed albums and other new works, arranged specially for the ISO by composers William Brittelle, Caroline Shaw, and Daniel Wohl.
For the 2013-14 season, New Amsterdam’s partnership with the ISO continued, with a special performance by Julianna Barwick and yMusic on January 26, 2014. Also featured on the program were vocalist Kristin Newborn and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir performing From Rivers, a piece composed by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw for the opening of the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis.
This concert was part of a partnership between New Amsterdam Presents, the DePauw School of Music, and the Marianne Tobias Music Program at Eskenazi Health that was aimed at bringing contemporary music in the Indianapolis region to the widest possible audience. The three organizations - an institution of higher education, a music series in a public health care system, and a new music artists' service organization - coordinated their resources to increase the impact of visiting musicians, create new opportunities for local artists, and provide numerous points of access for audiences in a variety of locations.
The New Am residency with the ISO was supported by a major grant from LDI, as part of the 100th Anniversary Celebration Cultural Partnership Gift Program, and by a generous grant from the Austin Memorial Foundation.