The 20/19 Project supports the creation of new viola sonatas by Andrew Norman, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Scott Wollschleger, as well as recordings of, publications about, and educational resources for the works.
The 20/19 Project is rooted in the legacy of the viola. While researching repertoire, I came across a surprising historical synchronicity: three of the most performed viola sonatas in the repertoire were created in the same year, 1919. That year, arts patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge held her annual composition competition, encouraging two of her close friends—Rebecca Clarke and Ernest Bloch—to submit viola sonatas. Halfway around the world, a young Paul Hindemith was finding his voice and wrote his own viola sonata inspired by Claude Debussy's colorful writing. These pieces have become staples of the viola repertoire through performances by great viola soloists such as Clarke and Hindemith themselves, scholarship, and recordings/curation of the three works together because of their origins in the same year.
We celebrate the centennial through new sonatas by Andrew Norman, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Scott Wollschleger. Legacy is developed over time through the impact of works which are given substantial resources beyond the premiere: in particular, high-quality recordings lead to repeated performances and integration into curriculum. The 20/19 Project will go beyond the commissions and premieres of the sonatas to include recordings of the works and video tutorials to show extended techniques used with brief interviews of the composers. Through this extensive free educational resource (an expansion of www.shakennotstuttered.com) other performers, students, and audience members will have a window into the creative process and a way to continue to learn the works, advocate for a culture of curiosity, and support a thriving culture of contemporary music for everyone.
The commissioning fees for the composers have been funded with the generous support of Elizabeth & Justus Schlichting.
I performed the concerto version of the Clarke Sonata (orchestrated by Ruth Lomon) with the UNCO Symphony Orchestra under Inés Rodríguez.
The project received additional support from the Rebecca Clarke Society and the University of Northern Colorado Provost Fund for Faculty Scholarship and Professional Development for workshops with the composers.
We completed a workshop with Scott Wollschleger and are in the process of editing the first set of technique videos for Shaken Not Stuttered for his piece.
We had a residency and workshop with Andrew Norman at Oberlin Conservatory in April 2019.
We were granted a residency at Avaloch Farm Institute in August 2019 to rehearse the pieces before the premiere.
The world premiere of The 20/19 Project took place at Madison New Music Festival in August 2019.
I am publishing a series of articles in the Journal of the American Viola Society on The 20/19 Project (see links below).
Studio Will Dutta is publishing a monograph on The 20/19 Project that went to press in September 2019.
I presented on Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Sola as part of The 20/19 Project for the International Viola Congress in Poland in September 2019—the exact centennial of the Clarke and Bloch premieres!
Read more in Music & Literature: "Cut to a Different World": Andrew Norman or in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, "An Architecture of Society: The American Composer Andrew Norman."
Interview with Anna Thorvaldsdottir on her new work for The 20/19 Project, Sola.
Read more about Anna's orchestral work Aeriality in Music & Literature: "Anna Thorvaldsdottir: A Part of Nature."
A three-part series for the Journal of the American Viola Society on The 20/19 Project
The 20/19 Project: A Centennial Celebration, JAVS, Volume 35 No. 1, September 2019. Part one discusses the origins of the project and the process of commissioning new work in general.
Be a part of the legacy
We're excited to invite you to be a part of the legacy by funding the rest of The 20/19 Project so that that the recording and educational resources mentioned above will allow us to share these wonderful new works with a wider community of musicians and audience members. By professionally recording, mixing, and mastering these works and releasing them as an album, I will be able to have an impact and reach audiences beyond my immediate community.
All donations to the project are tax deductible and will be managed by fiscal sponsor Kalikolehua (501c3 letter attached). To support the project, please follow the link below to donate directly to our fiscal sponsor. When prompted to "Add special instructions" on the following page, please indicate "The 20/19 Project" so that your support will be directed to this project.