Miller Theatre at Columbia University launches a new podcast on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. In six episodes, Mission: Commission demystifies the process of how classical music gets made, lifting the curtain to reveal the inner lives of three composers creating vibrant new works of music: Augusta Read Thomas in Chicago, Marcos Balter in New York City, and Courtney Bryan in New Orleans.
In fall 2020, Miller Theatre invited Balter, Bryan, and Thomas to each write a new piece of music in six weeks, checking in with podcast host Melissa Smey (Miller’s Executive Director) weekly to discuss their unique processes along the way. Via this audio diary, listeners will follow the composers through joy, frustration, and humor — and just being a human during a global pandemic. Recordings of the final pieces will be shared at the conclusion of the podcast, on Tuesday, May 18. Percussionist John Corkill will premiere Thomas’ work.
For twenty years, Miller Theatre’s flagship concert series, Composer Portraits, has created a community of adventurous listeners through portraits that included Du Yun, Sofia Gubaidulina, Oliver Knussen, Missy Mazzoli, Kaija Saariaho, Bright Sheng, and Joan Tower.