It may be snowing outside, but LunART is hunkering down in preparation for the upcoming summer festival, May 28 through June 2. In particular, our eyes are on the Composers Hub Professional Development Program and we will soon be selecting our 2024 finalists. With the February 1 deadline fast approaching, we couldn’t help but wonder what our alumni have been up to, and sat down with a couple of the composers who were selected for the 2022 cohort.
To begin, Autumn Maria Reed, a 2022 participant, was not only able to develop her skills as a composer, but also look at the nuts and bolts of being a working artist.
“As an artistic and socially awkward person, I struggle with the business aspect,” Reed said. “Because I applied what I learned, I'm still benefiting from the LunART Composer Hub.”
Now Reed is using her connections from LunART to excel as a composer.
“In July, I went to Brasília, Brazil to have my piece, ‘RESILIENCE’ performed,” said Reed, a Madison native, whose music was performed at the Tonal Composers Festival. “There, I met another woman composer (Edna Alejandra Longoria) who had her work performed at LunART!”
LunART strives to gather creative women together in community, and help them connect with a broader web of artists across the globe.
“The music world is a small one, but LunART makes it even smaller and more accessible to women composers,” said composers hub program manager Marie Pauls. “It is so exciting to see our composers being internationally recognized for their fine work.”
Another one of our wonderful composers from the 2022 cohort was Allison McIntosh. She expressed the value of the connections she made through LunART.
“My favorite part of the 2022 Composer Hub was getting to meet so many wonderful people, particularly the fellow composers and the performers that I worked with,” McIntosh said. “Not only did I learn a lot about music throughout rehearsals and workshops, I was also inspired by the positive energy of everyone there. It reminded me of what I like most about composing, which is experiencing music with others.”
LunART feels privileged to be part of each composer’s journey in this program that is both comprehensive and tailored to the individual. In an opening session at the 2022 festival, Pauls recalled an ice breaker that was led by Composer-in-Residence Stacy Garrop.
“The composers were essentially posed with the question, ‘If money, personnel and other resources were no object, what would be your dream project as a composer?’,” says Pauls. “I remember Allison (McIntosh) sharing her desire to write an opera.”
After her time with LunART, McIntosh has been able to see her skills come into play.
“My chamber opera ‘The Murderess’ was premiered this summer with Landlocked Opera Company and is about to have its second performance run with Opera Kansas,” says McIntosh, who composes as much as she can while also teaching composition at Missouri Western State University. “I'm especially looking forward to more opportunities to write opera and art song.”
Pauls expressed the value of seeing these composers grow through the program.
“Nothing is more rewarding than being able to witness the dreams and goals of our artists take shape,” said Pauls.
We also had the opportunity to speak with the talented Dinah Bianchi about her LunART experience. She expressed the value of working with other women and how this helped her journey.
“What I enjoyed most about being a part of the 2022 Composer Hub was being surrounded by highly talented women in my field and being immersed in their art,” Bianchi said. “It was through this experience that I was able to become familiar with their unique stories, which helped to pave their way in the music industry.”
Bianchi has recently graduated from Michigan State University with a D.M.A. in Music Composition. Her music career is also beginning to truly take off, with the release of her first album, ‘Dinah Bianchi: First Impressions,’ scheduled in March of 2023 with Navona Records.
“The album is a melange and contains many of my favorite solo, chamber, and orchestral works,” says Bianchi.
Bianchi is also using her expertise to support other musicians, and was recently appointed the Managing Director of the Vienna Contemporary Composers Festival.
“The VCCF provides international performance opportunities for emerging artists all around the world and I am looking forward to the festival this summer!” said Bianchi of her new endeavor.
Women composers looking to advance their careers can apply for Composers Hub through February 1, 2024. Check out the benefits of our program today!
Article by Ava Wojnowski
Ava Wojnowski is an intern with LunART. She is majoring in journalism and Spanish and is excited to bring her passion for writing to LunART. Outside of school, Wojnowski loves to spend time outside and also loves to listen to music. She played the viola from 4th to 12th grade, so music has always been a part of her life.