• Joan Tower
  • 1920/2019 (2020)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)

Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Society, Jaap van Zweden, Music Director

  • 2(II:pic).2.2.2/4.2.2+btbn.1/timp.3perc/pf/str
  • 14 min

Programme Note

Composer note
1920/2019 was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden, Music Director. It is dedicated to Deborah Borda, the orchestra’s President and CEO, in recognition of her vision for the creation of Project 19.

Project 19 is the Philharmonic’s initiative to commission and premiere nineteen new works by women composers in honor of the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. Project 19 is the single largest commissioning project for women in history.

1920 was the year when the amendment was ratified and adopted — an important and long sought-after achievement. I began writing this music in 2019 as the #MeToo movement continued to grow. Victims of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment are ending their silence, finding strength by sharing their experiences and beliefs.

These two years — 1920 and 2019 — were probably the two most historically significant years for the advancement of women in society.

— Joan Tower