CINCINNATI MAY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF ITS 150TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
2023 Cincinnati May Festival to Feature the May Festival Chorus in Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses; and Commissions by Julia Adolphe, James Lee III, and James MacMillan
May Festival Chorus to Make Headliner Performances at the 2023 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Cincinnati, Conducted by Juanjo Mena and Robert Porco
May Festival Chorus Joins Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, Holst’s The Planets, and Grieg’s Peer Gynt; and Cincinnati Ballet for Orff’s Carmina Burana
In Collaboration with Luna Lab, Cincinnati May Festival Commissions 25 New Works to be Premiered by Choral Ensembles Across Greater Cincinnati
May Festival Launches Music Makers of Tomorrow Endowment Campaign to Underwrite Student Tickets to Performances
Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena to Conclude Pivotal Six-Year Tenure with the May Festival
CINCINNATI, OH (May 31, 2022)—The Cincinnati May Festival will celebrate its 150th anniversary season with an expanded schedule of events inspired by its legacy of performing mainstays of the choral repertoire, commissioning and premiering new music, and collaborative work with community organizations.
The Cincinnati May Festival in May 2023 will feature the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) performing beloved works from the choral repertoire, including Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand, joined by the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cincinnati Youth Choir, and Cincinnati Boychoir; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem; Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat; and R. Nathaniel Dett’s oratorio The Ordering of Moses. In continuation of its commissioning legacy, the 2023 May Festival will also feature world premieres by composers Julia Adolphe, James Lee III, and James MacMillan.
The opening performance of the May Festival will take place at Cincinnati Music Hall on Friday, May 19, 2023. May Festival Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena will lead the Chorus and CSO in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat, which received its American premiere by the May Festival in 1875, as well as two world premieres by composers James MacMillan and James Lee III, both written for the May Festival Chorus and May Festival Youth Chorus. One of the most prolific choral composers of today, MacMillan’s Credo received its U.S. premiere at the May Festival in 2018, and in 2019, MacMillan joined the May Festival as a guest conductor and Creative Partner. In 2012, under the direction of Juanjo Mena, the CSO performed James Lee III’s Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula. The CSO will perform Lee’s Amer’ican on June 11, 2022 as part of its MAC Music Innovator program.
On Saturday, May 20, 2023, conductor Marin Alsop, Music Director Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and first woman to lead a major American orchestra, will conduct the May Festival Chorus and CSO in R. Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses, which received its world premiere at the May Festival on May 7, 1937 at Cincinnati Music Hall and was later performed by the Chorus and CSO at Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music festival in 2014. Alsop’s program will also feature Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1 in One Movement, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Aaron Copland’s “The Promise of Living” from The Tender Land, arranged by John Williams.
May Festival Music Director Laureate James Conlon returns to conduct the Chorus and CSO on Thursday, May 25, 2023 in a program featuring Mozart’s Requiem. One of his most beloved works, Mozart’s Requiem was first performed at the May Festival in 1882; 100 years later, Conlon brought the work back for its second-ever performance at the May Festival in 1982. The May Festival Chorus will also perform the world premiere of a work by composer Julia Adolphe, recipient of a 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award from the ASCAP Foundation. In 2016, Conlon first commissioned Julia Adolphe to write Sea Dream Elegies for the May Festival—Adolphe’s first choral composition—and in 2017, the May Festival Chorus gave the world premiere of Adolphe’s Equinox, commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and premiered in November 2017 as part of resident companies’ return to the renovated Cincinnati Music Hall.
To cap the May Festival’s 150th anniversary, Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena will lead the combined forces of the May Festival Chorus, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus directed by Lisa Wong, Cincinnati Youth Choir directed by Robyn Lana, and Cincinnati Boychoir directed by Jason Holmes, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand, extending the May Festival and CSO’s deep-rooted relationship with the music of Gustav Mahler. Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 received its U.S. premiere at the May Festival in 1914 with conductor Ernst Kunwald, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra had previously given the U.S. premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 under Frank Van der Stucken in 1905. On September 24-25, 2022, the May Festival Chorus will join the CSO for its 2022-2023 season opener, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, under the direction of CSO Music Director Louis Langrée.
Plans are also underway for May Festival’s traditional spring concert of sacred music. More details will be announced at a later date.
In the lead up to the 2023 May Festival, the May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will perform headliner concerts for the 2023 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference, the largest gathering of choral professionals in the country. Juanjo Mena will lead the Chorus, the May Festival Youth Chorus, and the CSO in a program to include the world premiere of Breaths of Universal Longings by James Lee III, and Director of Choruses Robert Porco will lead the May Festival Chamber Choir in Julia Adolphe’s Equinox. These performances mark the debut of the Chorus and the Youth Chorus at the ACDA Conference, following the May Festival Chorus and CSO headline performance for Chorus America National Conference in 2016.
“In the 2022-23 season, Cincinnati – the City that Sings – will resound with the sound of the May Festival Chorus all year, with the anniversary culminating in the 2023 May Festival itself,” said Mena. “I am excited to lead the May Festival Chorus and CSO’s performances at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference, in addition to what promises to be a superb May Festival, including Mahler’s mighty Eighth Symphony, the ‘Symphony of a Thousand.’"
The May Festival’s 2022-2023 schedule includes:
- September 24-25, 2022: Gustav Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the CSO; Louis Langrée, conductor
- November 4-6, 2022: Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with Cincinnati Ballet
- December 2-3, 2022: Gustav Holst’s The Planets with the CSO; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
- January 13-14, 2023: Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the CSO; Louis Langrée, conductor
- February 23 & 25, 2023: May Festival Chorus to make headliner performances at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Cincinnati with the CSO; Juanjo Mena and Robert Porco, conductors
- May 2023: 25 Greater Cincinnati choral ensembles will premiere works written specifically for them by composers from the Luna Lab and funded by the May Festival
- May 19, 2023: J.S. Bach’s Magnificat and commission premieres by James MacMillan and James Lee III with the CSO; Juanjo Mena, conductor
- May 20, 2023: R. Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses with the CSO; Marin Alsop, conductor
- May 25, 2023: W.A. Mozart’s Requiem and a commission premiere by Julia Adolphe with the CSO; James Conlon, conductor
- May 27, 2023: Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand, with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cincinnati Youth Choir, Cincinnati Boychoir, and CSO; Juanjo Mena, conductor
All programs, artists, and dates are subject to change.
“Cincinnati May Festival’s 150th anniversary is an incredible milestone for us and the community,” said Steven Sunderman, Executive Director of the Cincinnati May Festival. “It speaks to our enduring relevance as an organization and artform, and we will celebrate the only way we know how—by sharing choral music performances of the highest caliber with the world. This expanded season of activity will celebrate the traditions that have defined the May Festival from the very beginning and it will undoubtedly lay the foundation for the future of the choral music here in Cincinnati and around the world for many years to come.”
In honor of the May Festival’s storied history of commissioning new works, the May Festival will collaborate with New York’s Kaufman Music Center’s Luna Composition Lab, a fellowship program that provides mentorship and performance opportunities to young composers who are female, non-binary or gender nonconforming, to commission twenty-five new choral works for and to be premiered by choral ensembles across Greater Cincinnati. Performances and participating ensembles will be announced at a later date.
“Commissions and premieres have been a consistent feature of the May Festival since its founding in 1873,” said Matthew Swanson, Associate Director of Choruses and May Festival Youth Chorus Director. “Equally present has been a record of celebrating the wide variety of choral organizations and choral singers in our region. This commissioning partnership with Luna Lab will bring new works to the choral repertoire – each of which will have a distinct Cincinnati connection.”
In addition to commissioning new choral works, the May Festival has launched its Music Makers of Tomorrow campaign, which aims to raise $150,000 to endow the Choral Student Ticket Fund by the end of the 2023 May Festival. The fund will guarantee that middle school, high school, and college-level choral students can attend every May Festival concert for free in perpetuity.
“There are numerous stories from May Festival Chorus members and singers abroad who can recount the exact moment when they were inspired to sing,” said Sunderman. “We are creating those moments right here, and we want to ensure that there are no barriers to access for students.”
This season will also mark the conclusion of Juanjo Mena’s six-year tenure as Principal Conductor of the May Festival. Part of the innovative artistic leadership model established in 2016, which combined the artistic impact of a principal conductor, a rotating creative partner, and a director of choruses, Mena’s time with the May Festival has been marked by a substantial output of new and diverse programming and a deep commitment to community engagement, connecting with and uniting singers from choral ensembles across the region. Performance highlights include Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations, Giovanni Gabrieli’s Magnificat à 33, Gustav Holst’s Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, the North American premiere of James MacMillan’s Credo, and Mark Simpson’s The Immortal featuring the ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
In 2018, Mena invited singers from across the Cincinnati region to join the May Festival Chorus in an expanded May Festival Community Chorus for a special presentation of Handel’s Messiah. Over 300 singers, some of whom had never participated in a chorus before, were positioned in the balcony and around the audience for a visceral, surround-sound effect for the oratorio. In the same year, Mena was also instrumental in the presentation of free community choral concerts at Cincinnati Music Hall during the May Festival. Numerous choral ensembles and organizations from across the region performed in community choral showcases at Cincinnati Music Hall in 2018 and 2019.
“Juanjo Mena’s unwavering commitment to placing community at the heart of the Festival by embracing the regional choral scene, a fuller vocal repertoire, and an expanded Festival footprint of events has been a cornerstone of his tenure as Principal Conductor of the May Festival,” said Sunderman. “We are grateful to Juanjo for his leadership.”
“Juanjo Mena brings great energy and passion to his work,” said Robert Porco, Director of the May Festival Chorus. “He is a strong believer in inclusivity and has drawn people in to our May Festival family from all over the community, most notably for Handel’s Messiah. This sort of community work is a real strength of his; Juanjo has a sincere interest in expanding participation in choral music here and abroad. On a personal note, Juanjo has become a close friend through the years, and I am looking forward to celebrating the May Festival’s momentous 150th anniversary with Juanjo and the May Festival family.”
“Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful Cincinnati May Festival!” said Mena. “I cannot wait to celebrate with you all next season.”
ARTISTIC LEADERSHIP OF THE MAY FESTIVAL
Juanjo Mena, Principal Conductor
Juanjo Mena began his conducting career in his native Spain as Artistic Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra in 1999. His uncommon talent was soon recognized internationally with the Bergen Philharmonic appointing him Principal Guest Conductor and the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa Chief Guest Conductor. In 2011, he was named Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic which he then led for seven seasons, taking the orchestra on tours of Europe and Asia and conducting annual televised concerts at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. His BBC tenure featured, notably, “thrilling” (The Guardian) performances of Bruckner Symphonies, a cycle of Schubert Symphonies, and set new standards for the interpretation of both well-known and less-performed Spanish and South American repertoire.
A sought-after guest conductor, Mena regularly works with the world's leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, NHK Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic and the Oslo Philharmonic, as well as all the major orchestras in his native Spain. He currently serves as Principal Conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival, the longest running choral festival in North America, where he has been expanding the scope of the legendary organization with new commissions and community engagement.
Robert Porco, Director of Choruses
Robert Porco has been recognized as one of the leading choral musicians in the U.S., and throughout his career he has been an active preparer and conductor of choral and orchestral works, including most of the major choral repertoire, as well as of opera. A highlight of his career was leading an Indiana University student choral and orchestral ensemble of 250 in a highly acclaimed performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass as part of the Tanglewood Music Festival’s celebration of the composer’s 70th birthday. In 2011, Porco received Chorus America’s “Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art.” In 2016, he led the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah for Chorus America’s National Conference.
Porco’s conducting career has spanned geographic venues and has included performances in the Edinburgh Festival; Taipei, Taiwan; Lucerne, Switzerland; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel; and Reykjavik, Iceland; and at the May Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Berkshire Music Festival, Blossom Festival and Grant Park Festival. He has been a regular guest conductor at the May Festival and with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra, among others. The 2022 season is Robert Porco’s 33rd as Director of Choruses.
Matthew Swanson, Associate Director of Choruses and May Festival Youth Chorus Director
Matthew Swanson is the Associate Director of Choruses and the Director of the Youth Chorus at the Cincinnati May Festival. He annually prepares the May Festival Chorus and Youth Chorus for performances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, and for their featured appearances at the May Festival.
Under his leadership, the May Festival has instituted an annual Youth Chorus commissioning project; the May Festival Community Chorus; the presentation of community choral concerts at Music Hall during the May Festival; a robust program of professional voice instruction, free to Chorus and Youth Chorus members; the Festival’s community choral podcast “Sing the Queen City”; and free in-school choral clinics for area high schools. Beyond the May Festival, his affiliations have included the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center (New York), Schola Antiqua (Chicago), and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. He was previously an instructor in the Early Music Lab and the Division of Music Education at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), as well as the chorus master of CCM Opera. He also leads the choral program at Xavier University.
Founded in 1873, the Cincinnati May Festival is the oldest choral festival in the Western Hemisphere and is distinguished by its unique community-based structure and standard of extraordinary artistic excellence. The annual Festival, anchored by the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), hosts an international array of guest artists and presents nine dynamic productions. The Festival is under the leadership of Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena and Director of Choruses Robert Porco.
Many important choral works have received their world and American premieres at the May Festival in the past 150 years, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana, Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, and Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses.
In 2021 and 2022, May Festival earned BBC Magazine’s distinction as “One of the Best Classical Music Festivals in the US and Canada” and Chorus America recognized the May Festival as a leader in increasing diversity, equality, inclusion and access in the choral world. https://mayfestival.com/
MAY FESTIVAL CHORUS
The May Festival Chorus has earned acclaim locally, nationally and internationally for its musicality, vast range of repertoire and sheer power of sound. The Chorus of 120 avocational singers is the core artistic element of the Cincinnati May Festival as well as the official chorus of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the Cincinnati Pops. Throughout each season the Chorus members collectively devote more than 40,000 hours in rehearsals and performances.
The May Festival Chorus has strengthened its national and international presence through numerous PBS broadcasts of live concerts and several award-winning recordings, many in collaboration with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. Most recently, a live recording of Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses featuring Music Director Laureate James Conlon conducting the Chorus and the CSO at Carnegie Hall was released to critical acclaim in 2016 on Bridge Records. In 2001, the Chorus recorded Christmas with the May Festival Chorus, a popular a cappella holiday recording which was re-released on the Fanfare Cincinnati label in 2017, and a 2004 May Festival recording featuring the world premiere recording of Franz Liszt’s St. Stanislaus was awarded the 30th International F. Liszt Record Grand Prix by the Liszt Society of Budapest. The Chorus is also featured on the 2012 Cincinnati Pops release, Home for the Holidays, and several other Pops albums.
The May Festival Chorus has garnered awards in recognition of its continuing artistic excellence and performances throughout the state. In 2011, the Chorus received the Spirit of Cincinnati USA Erich Kunzel Queen City Advocate Award from Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 1998, the Chorus earned the Irma Lazarus Award from the Ohio Arts Council’s annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts. https://mayfestival.com/chorus/
MAY FESTIVAL YOUTH CHORUS
The May Festival Youth Chorus connects, inspires, and educates young people through the study and performance of choral music, ranging from Medieval era to world-premiere contemporary commissions. Since its founding in 1987, the Youth Chorus has appeared annually at the May Festival, performing choral-orchestral works with the May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and internationally renowned conductors and soloists. Additionally, the Youth Chorus performs a stand-alone concert series in collaboration with cultural institutions and organizations throughout Greater Cincinnati. The Youth Chorus has been featured on recordings with the Cincinnati Pops and in 2007 appeared on NPR’s From the Top, the preeminent showcase for America’s best young musicians. Alumni of the chorus have continued on as professional singers in Cincinnati and beyond. https://mayfestival.com/chorus/may-festival-youth-chorus/
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations. With a mission to enrich, expand, and excel in the art of dance through performance, a high-caliber academy, and impactful education and community engagement in local to global communities, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, provides extensive education and community engagement programs, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy. https://cballet.org/
The Cincinnati Boychoir is a choir for male-identifying youth of all musical abilities from across the Greater Cincinnati Region. Founded in 1965, the Boychoir is a teaching and performing organization that offers musical enrichment, performance, and touring opportunities.
Our vocal ensembles are directed by professional music educators who teach a curriculum not only of musical skills but cultural appreciation, empathy, self-discipline, and leadership.
Boychoir is made up of students from grades 3-12, who attend weekly rehearsals and participate in performances around the Cincinnati area. Each week, all boys come together for a combined rehearsal in which older boys are empowered as big brothers to younger boys, teaching them about musicianship, hard work, and building a community. https://cincinnatiboychoir.org/
CINCINNATI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
With a legacy dating back 127 years, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is considered one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. Led by Louis Langrée since 2013, the CSO’s distinguished roster of past music directors includes Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Max Rudolf, Jesús López Cobos and Paavo Järvi. Matthias Pintscher is the Orchestra’s Creative Partner, and previous artistic partners have included Lang Lang, Philip Glass, Branford Marsalis and Jennifer Higdon. The Orchestra also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, founded by Erich Kunzel in 1977 and currently led by John Morris Russell with Damon Gupton serving as Principal Guest Conductor. The CSO further elevates the city’s vibrant arts scene by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet.
The CSO has long championed the composers and music of its time and has given historic American premieres by Claude Debussy, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel, Béla Bartók, William Grant Still and other prominent composers. It has also commissioned many works that ultimately became mainstays of the classical repertoire, including Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. The Orchestra continues to actively commission new work, amplifying new voices from a diverse array of backgrounds, most recently with the Fanfare Project, a series of solo instrument works written for CSO musicians to share musical reflections of time during the Covid pandemic.
Deeply committed to inclusion, relevance, and enhancing and expanding opportunities for the children of Greater Cincinnati, the Orchestra works to bring music education, in its many different forms, to as broad a public as possible. In 2020, the CSO was one of the first American orchestras to create a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer position to ensure the absorption of best DE&I practices into every facet of the organization. The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, a nationally recognized program in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, provides a graduate degree-level education with performance and professional development opportunities for extraordinary young string players from populations historically underrepresented in American orchestras. The CSO is also an incubator for and partner to NIMAN, a consortium of American orchestras, professional musicians and educators established to address the lack of racial equity in the classical music field by aligning resources and collaborating to strengthen the trajectory of classical instrumentalists of color at all stages of their pre-careers. https://www.cincinnatisymphony.org/
CINCINNATI YOUTH CHOIR
It is the mission of the Cincinnati Youth Choir (CYC) to offer all children the opportunity to experience musical excellence in a creative environment. Participants demonstrate musical understanding, artistry, achievement and confidence through passionate performances and collaborations with premier ensembles and children's choirs throughout the world. The Cincinnati Youth Choir builds stronger communities by creating a comprehensive foundation that supports music educators and develops tomorrow's leaders. CYC has been uniquely situated as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Preparatory Department since 2001. This association with one of the premier conservatories in the nation, in the heart of Cincinnati’s rich choral music tradition, creates tremendous professional level performance opportunities for CYC’s young singers, and fuels CYC’s standards for excellence. http://www.cincinnatichoir.org/about/
CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA CHORUS
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus is one of the few professionally trained, all-volunteer choruses sponsored by an American orchestra. In addition to performing with The Cleveland Orchestra in concert at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall each season, the Chorus has appeared with the Orchestra on tour in Boston, Brussels, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, London, Lucerne, Luxembourg, Miami, Paris, and New York, as well as on television and in numerous recordings. The Chorus has also toured on its own, either a cappella or with other ensembles, to the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Chautauqua Institution in New York; and to venues in England, Wales, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany.
Cleveland Orchestra Chorus members hail from nearly 50 northeast Ohio communities. Together, the groups 130 members volunteer more than 30,000 hours annually, through rehearsals and performances. They also raise money for their tours through a variety of projects and events. https://www.clevelandorchestra.com/engage/choruses/cleveland-orchestra-chorus/
LUNA COMPOSITION LAB
The only program of its kind in the United States, Luna Composition Lab provides mentorship and performance opportunities to young composers who are female-identifying, non-binary, or gender nonconforming. Founded by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid in collaboration with Face the Music at the Kaufman Music Center, Luna Lab provides a year of one-on-one mentorship to young composers, culminating in a week of activities in New York City, which includes attending performances, masterclasses with inspirational figures, such as Renée Fleming, Julia Wolfe, Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Du Yun, Rebekah Heller, Jennifer Koh, Sarah Hennies, Ashley Jackson, Caroline Shaw, and Nathalie Joachim, networking events, and more. The program has garnered attention from The New York Times, Musical America, and other outlets in its first four seasons, and alumni have been commissioned to compose for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Opera Omaha, and members of the Louisville Orchestra. Works of the Luna Lab fellows have also been recorded by the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, Luna Composition Lab has established affiliations with New Amsterdam Records, National Sawdust, New York Philharmonic Young Composer Program, the Contemporaneous Ensemble, G. Schirmer, The Metropolitan Opera, and International Contemporary Ensemble. https://www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/luna-lab/