The Library of Congress has solely or jointly commissioned scores of works in the contemporary classical-music canon since the 1920s. Among the pieces to be listed on Q2 Music are works by composers John Adams, Caleb Burhans, Sebastian Currier, Chaya Czernowin, Mario Davidovsky, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Stephen Hartke, Michael Hersch, George Lewis, Chiel Meijering, Harold Meltzer, Nico Muhly, Marc Neikrug, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Kaija Saariaho, Lalo Schifrin, Simon Shaheen and Ezequiel Viñao and George Walker. In addition, four pieces premiered at the Library will also be made available—by David Bruce, Irving Fine, George Walker and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky.
“We are pleased to make these important additions to the classical canon more widely available to new listeners,” said Susan Vita, chief of the Library of Congress Music Division, which oversees the Library’s longstanding program of musical commissions and sponsors the Library’s concert series, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
“New works keep classical music vital and relevant, and attract new listeners to a genre that has retained its value throughout the centuries and around the world.”
“The Library of Congress’s history of commissioning new work is one of the cornerstones of new music in the United States,” said WQXR General Manager Graham Parker. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring these top-class, often world-premiere performances to a digital audience via Q2 Music. To capture this music when the ink is still fresh on the scores and share with listeners eager for the newest of the new is really exciting.”
The Library’s commissioning of new music grew out of its relationship with Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953), a donor and aficionado of chamber music who provided the funding for the Library’s acoustically famous Coolidge Auditorium and also provided funding for works by world-famous composers that premiered there. In 1925 she established the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation at the Library for the promotion of chamber music through commissions, public concerts and festivals.
The Coolidge fund still provides for new commissions. The Library has also been graced by the establishment of several funds for the creation or promotion of music, including the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the McKim Fund, the Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music, the Kindler Foundation Trust Fund, the Anne Adlum Hull and William Remsen Strickland Fund and others.
More works commissioned by the Library of Congress are to be added to the Q2 Music live streaming library and on-demand playlists in coming months.
Q2 Music is WQXR’s online music stream dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles, and live webcasts from New York City’s leading new-music venues. Q2 Music, a live 24/7 music stream, including immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts and composers, full-length album streams, in-depth interviews with trend-setting artists and special live events at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music is also available via the free WQXR app.