The Composers’ Fund: Arlene Sierra
An American composer based in London, Arlene Sierra writes music that takes its impetus from rich sources including military strategy, game theory, Darwinian evolution, and the natural world. Her music has been lauded for its “highly flexible and distinctive style” (The Guardian), and its “remarkable brilliance of color, rhythmic dexterity and playfulness” (NPR Classical). Declared “a name to watch” by BBC Music Magazine, Arlene Sierra is the subject of a critically-acclaimed series of portrait discs with Bridge Records. She has received fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the MacDowell Colony and the Tanglewood Music Festival, and has had portrait concerts at the Crush Room, Royal Opera House, London, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Vermont and Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, New York. A Takemitsu Prize-winner and Latin GRAMMY nominee, Sierra has received commissions from the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Albany Symphony, Bremen Philharmonic Society, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Cheltenham, Huddersfield and Tanglewood Music Festivals, and many ensembles and soloists. Other performers of her work include the Tokyo Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, New York City Opera VOX, International Contemporary Ensemble, Carducci Quartet, Lontano, and the Benedetti Elschenbroich-Grynyuk Trio at the BBC Proms.
The funding is for a large-scale orchestral commission for the BBC. Nature Symphony is planned as a symphonic work in three movements entitled 1. Mountain of Butterflies, 2. Black Place (after O’Keeffe), and 3. Bee Rebellion. The work will carry forward several ideas from earlier works that have received critical acclaim for their inventive, colourful and dramatic exploration of the natural world: Urban Birds (2014), Butterflies Remember a Mountain (2013) and Game of Attrition (2009). Nature Symphony will receive its world premiere with the BBC Philharmonic at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on November 25, 2017, with Ludovic Morlot conducting.