Commissioning

Philosophy

Commissioning and performing new works has become integral to LF’s mission and programming philosophy. Since its founding, LF has commissioned and premiered over 40 new works (solo songs, full cycles and arrangements) of local, regional and nationally recognized composers. LF enjoys working in partnership with composers, providing them opportunities for creating and mounting performances of their work.

Lyric Fest believes in commissioning new songs for a new age, both to keep the art of the song recital alive, and to connect more relevantly to today’s audiences. We invite you to partner with us in the exciting venture of commissioning new works! For more information on the opportunities please write to Suzanne DuPlantis or Laura Ward at info@lyricfest.org.

Composers who wish to be considered for commissioning, please send materials and work samples to info@lyricfest.org.

As of 10.3.2016 Lyric Fest has commissioned 21 composers, 1 lyricist: for 22 individual songs, 11 song cycles/groups (67 songs), and 5 arrangements.

2015-16 Season Compositions

Premiered on “The Raven – A Poe Fest”
November 7 and 8, 2015

Ellen Mandel’s “To One in Paradise”
Nicholas White’s The Raven (new version with Prologue)

Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016

Abbie Betinis’s “Your Ever Faithful Friend” (Abigail to John Adams)
Benjamin C.S. Boyle’s “Zelda’s Dream” (Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald)
John Conahan’s “I love my wife. My wife is dead.” (Richard Feynman to his deceased wife)
Daron Aric Hagen’s “The Bixby Letter” (Attributed to Abraham Lincoln to the mother of 5 sons lost in the Civil War)
Juliana Hall’s “A Northeast Storm” (Emily Dickinson to her brother)
Lori Laitman’s “Dear Future Roommate” (Mike Gioia’s letter for admission into Stanford University)
Thomas Lloyd’s “You must know…” (Amelia Earhart to her soon to be husband, George Putnum, on the morning of their wedding)
Isabella Nicole Ness’s “Ever Yours, Vincent” (Vincent Van Gogh to his brother, Theo)
Logan Skelton’s 4 Letters to Santa (Collections of actual letters to Santa)

Complete List of Lyric Fest Commissions

in alphabetical order by composer

Abbie Betinis
http://www.abbiebetinis.com/
“Your Ever Faithful Friend” (text by Abigail and John Adams)
For mezzo soprano, baritone, and piano; duration: 6:08
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Katy Pracht, mezzo soprano, Keith Phares, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Lauren and Craig Meyer

 

Benjamin C.S. Boyle
http://www.benjamincsboyle.com/

“Patience” (text by Edith Wharton)
For soprano and piano; duration: 3:29
Premiered on “Dear March – Come in – American Women Poets in Song”
March 28 and 30, 2014; at Bryn Mawr College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kiera Duffy, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Christina Stasiuk and George Farion
“Zelda’s Dream” (text by Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald)
For soprano and piano; duration: 4:20
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kelly Ann Bixby, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Curt Cacioppo
http://www.curtcacioppo.com/
“Volgi, Beatrice” (text by Dante Alighieri)
For soprano and string quartet; duration: 3:00
Premiered on “To Kiss the Earth – potter, poet, and guide”
November 12 and 13, 2011; at Philadelphia University and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Elizabeth Weigle, soprano and The Ravenhill String Quartet
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Andrea Clearfield
http://www.andreaclearfield.com/

The Drift of Things; Winter Songs (text by Frost, Kancewick, Wagoner, Keats, Shakespeare, Hoelderlin and Rilke)
For mezzo soprano, baritone, and piano; duration: 45:00
Premiered on “New Journey into Song: A Winter’s Journey”
January 25 and 27, 2013; at The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Katherine Pracht, mezzo soprano, Randall Scarlata, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by John and Sandra Stouffer

John Conahan
http://www.johnconahan.com/

“Fly me to the moon (foxtrot) (original by Bart Howard)
Arrangement for baritone and piano; duration: 2:35
Premiered on “I’ve got Rhythm”
January 28 and 29, 2011; at the Girard Academic Music Program and The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Performers: Wes Mason, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest
“O Freedom”
Arrangement for mezzo soprano, choir, piano, and organ; duration: 3:23
Premiered on “Journey Toward Freedom”
March 3, 2013; at The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Denyce Graves, mezzo soprano, Singing City Chamber Choir, Children’s Choir, Laura Ward, piano, and Keenan Boswell, organ
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

“Wade in the Water”
Arrangement for bass-baritone, choir, and piano; duration: 3:05
Premiered on “Journey Toward Freedom”
March 3, 2013; at The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Kevin Deas, bass-baritone, Singing City Chamber Choir, and Keenan Boswell, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Published by Hal-Leonard Corporation

“Hard Times Come Again no More” (text by Stephen Foster/Mary J. Blige)
Arrangement for mezzo soprano, baritone, and piano; duration: 3:55
Premiered on “I’ll Make Me a World”
April 19, 2015; at The Church of the Holy Trinity
Performers: Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo soprano, Randall Scarlata, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

“I love my wife. My wife is dead.” (text by Richard Feynman)
For tenor and piano; duration: 7:06
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Andrew Fuchs, tenor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Mignon and Jim Groch in honor of Kevin McDowell

Douglas Cuomo
http://www.douglasjcuomo.com/

“Our Vision for the Future” (text by Amanda Nadleberg)
For soprano and piano; duration: 7:00
Premiered on “Dear March – Come in – American Women Poets in Song”
March 28 and 30, 2014; at Bryn Mawr College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kiera Duffy, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by John and Sandra Stouffer

Michael Djupstrom
http://www.michaeldjupstrom.com/

“Infirm” (text by Gwendolyn Brooks)
For mezzo soprano and piano; duration: 4:00
Premiered on “Dear March – Come in – American Women Poets in Song”
March 28 and 30, 2014; at Bryn Mawr College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Elizabeth Shammash, mezzo soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Allan Schimmel

Daron Aric Hagen
http://www.daronhagen.com/

After Words (text from the Bible, Ruben Dario, Peter Handke, Seamus Heaney, and Wilhelm Muller)
For soprano, tenor, and piano; duration: 20:00
Premiered on “New Journey into Song: A Winter’s Journey”
January 25 and 27, 2013; at The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Justine Aronson, soprano, Joseph Gaines, tenor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Four Dickinson Songs (texts by Emily Dickinson)
For tenor and piano; duration: 7:00
Premiered on “Dear March – Come in – American Women Poets in Song”
March 28 and 30, 2014; at Bryn Mawr College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Joseph Gaines, tenor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Lauren and Craig Meyer

“The Bixby Letter” (text by Abraham Lincoln)
For baritone and piano; duration: 4:30
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Keith Phares, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Sandra and John Stouffer

Juliana Hall
http://www.julianahall.com/

“A Northeast Storm” (text by Emily Dickinson)
For soprano and piano; duration: 2:33
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kelly Ann Bixby, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by DeAnn Clancy

Jeffrey James Harvey
https://myspace.com/jeffreyjamesharvey

“Sweet potato pie” (text by Dan May)
For choir, 3 sopranos, mezzo soprano, bass-baritone, percussion, bass, guitar, and piano; duration: 3:32
Premiered on “Simple Gifts – Songs of Joy and Thanksgiving”
November 19 and 20, 2005; at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Children’s Choir, Jeffrey James Harvey, vocals and percussion, Dan May, bass, Les Reisz, guitar, Shawn Hennessey with World Percussion, Lorie Gratis, soprano, Cara Latham, soprano, Randi Marrazzo, soprano, Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Michael Riley, bass-baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by John and Chara Haas

“Dance Through Life”
For choir, male vocals, percussion, bass, guitar, and flute; duration: 4:45
Premiered on “Simple Gifts – Songs of Joy and Thanksgiving”
November 19 and 20, 2005; at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Jeffrey James Harvey, vocals, Shawn Hennessey and World Percussion, Dan May, vocals and bass, Les Reisz, guitar, Cara Latham, flute
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by John and Chara Haas

Allen Krantz
http://allenkrantz.com/web/home.aspx

“Little Elegy with Books and Beasts (II)” (text by Nancy Willard)
For soprano and string quartet; duration: 13:46
Premiered on “To Kiss the Earth – potter, poet, and guide”
November 12 and 13, 2011; at Philadelphia University and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Elizabeth Weigle, soprano, and The Ravenhill String Quartet
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Felicia Gonzalez, Emilio Gravagno, Dr. and Mrs. Milton Krantz, David Reynolds, Margaret and Christopher Swisher

“From On the Road” (text by Jack Kerouac)
For mezzo soprano and piano; duration: 3:00
Premiered on “Old City – New Song”
October 14, 2012; at The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Lori Laitman
http://artsongs.com/

“Dear Future Roommate” (text by Mike Gioia)
For baritone and piano; duration: 4:40
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Keith Phares, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by William Bosch and Colby Madden

Thomas Lloyd
www.thomaslloydmusic.com

Fatherly reflections (text by Karl Kirchwey)
For tenor and piano; duration:
Premiered on “Night and Day – The Harmony of Yin-Yang”
November 21, 2010; at The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Richard Troxell, tenor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

“Ben Unleashed” (text by Benjamin Franklin)
For 2 sopranos, mezzo soprano, tenor, baritone, and piano; duration:
Premiered on “Old City – New Song”
October 14, 2012; at The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kelly Ann Bixby, soprano, Randi Marrazzo, soprano, Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Thomas Lloyd, tenor, Jarrett Ott, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

“You must know…”   (text by Amelia Earhart)
For mezzo soprano and piano; duration: 3:32
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Katy Pracht, mezzo soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Lauren and Craig Meyer

Ellen Mandel
http://www.ellenmandel.com/

“To One in Paradise”  (text by Edgar Allan Poe)
For soprano and piano; duration: 4:08
Premiered on “The Raven – A Poe Fest”
November 7 and 8, 2015; at Dumbarton Concerts, Washington, D.C., and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Emily Noël, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Premiered by Lyric Fest

Dan May, lyricist
http://www.mtistudios.net/talent_may.html

“Sweet potato pie”
For choir, 3 sopranos, mezzo soprano, bass-baritone, percussion, bass, guitar, and piano; duration: 3:32
Premiered on “Simple Gifts – Songs of Joy and Thanksgiving”
November 19 and 20, 2005; at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Children’s Choir, Jeffrey James Harvey, vocals and percussion, Dan May, bass, Les Reisz, guitar, Shawn Hennessey with World Percussion, Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Lorie Gratis, soprano, Cara Latham, soprano, Randi Marrazzo, soprano, Michael Riley, bass-baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by John and Chara Haas

Isabella Nicole Ness
http://www.isabellaness.com/

“Ever Yours, Vincent” (text by Vincent van Gogh)
For baritone and piano; duration: 5:44
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Keith Phares, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by the Lyric Fest Young Composer Competition

James Primosch
http://jamesprimosch.com/
“Waltzing the Spheres” (text by Susan Scott Thompson)
For soprano and piano; duration: 4:00
Premiered on “Dear March – Come in – American Women Poets in Song”
March 28 and 30, 2014; at Bryn Mawr College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kiera Duffy, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Joel Puckett
http://joelpuckett.com/

“the greatest evil-six years” (text by Edgar Allan Poe)
For tenor and piano; duration: 4:45
Premiered on “The Raven – A Poe Fest”
November 7 and 8, 2015; at Dumbarton Concerts, Washington, D.C., and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: James Reese, tenor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Logan Skelton
http://www.music.umich.edu/faculty_staff/bio.php?u=lskelton

4 Letters to Santa (texts from children’s Santa letters)
For soprano, mezzo soprano, tenor, baritone, and piano; duration: 7:07
Premiered on “Sincerely Yours…Letters set to music”
April 2 and 3, 2016; at Haverford College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kelly Ann Bixby, soprano, Katy Pracht, mezzo soprano, Andrew Fuchs, tenor, Keith Phares, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Ellen Phillips Frohnmayer

Kile Smith
http://kilesmith.com/

Two Laudate Psalms (text from Psalms 113 and 150)
For mezzo soprano, treble choir, and piano; duration: 10:00
Premiered on “Moving Heaven and Earth – World Spirituality in Song”
October 30 and November 1, 2009; at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill and The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Mark Anderson, conductor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

“Mark the Music” (text by William Shakespeare)
For soprano, tenor, baritone, and piano; duration: 4:00
Premiered on “Much Ado About Shakespeare”
November 16 and 21, 2014; at Main Line Reform Temple and Girard Academic Music Program
Performers: Jessica Lennick, soprano, Eric Rieger, tenor, Michael Adams, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by The 2014-2015 American Composer’s Forum Subito Grant and Community Partnership for LF Composer in Residence

“The Heavens Declare” (text from Psalm 19)
For soprano, mezzo soprano, baritone, choir, and piano with audience participation; duration: 4:30
Premiered on “I’ll Make Me a World”
April 19, 2015; at The Church of the Holy Trinity
Performers: Elizabeth Weigle, soprano, Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo soprano, Randall Scarlata, baritone, Laura Ward, piano, Singing City, Jeffrey Brillhart, conductor, Bryan Anderson, piano,  and scored for audience participation
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by The 2014-2015 American Composer’s Forum Subito Grant and Community Partnership for LF Composer in Residence

In This Blue Room (text by Julia Blumenreich, Susan Fleshman, Siobhan Lyons, and Donna Wolf-Palacio; based on the batik paintings of Laura Pritchard)
For mezzo soprano, baritone, and piano; duration: 45:00
Premiered on “Waxing Poetic”
March 13 and 15, 2015; at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Daniel Teadt, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by The 2014-2015 American Composer’s Forum Subito Grant and Community Partnership for LF Composer in Residence

Nicholas White
http://www.nicholaswhitemusic.com/

“Going Home” (original by Antonín Dvořák)
Arrangement for 2 sopranos, mezzo soprano, tenor, 2 baritones, and piano; duration: 5:00
Premiered on “Home and the Immigrant Soul”
October 15, 2006; at The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Rebecca Carr, soprano, Randi Marrazzo, soprano, Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Bryan Hymel, tenor, Philip Frohnmayer, baritone, Jonathan Beyer, baritone, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by John and Chara Haas

The Aim Was Song (text by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, Christina Rossetti, and Alfred Lord Tennyson)
For 3 sopranos, 2 mezzo sopranos, tenor, baritone, treble choir, french horn, and piano; duration: 12:00
Premiered on “Old City – New Song – Philadelphia Composers”
April 12 and 13, 2008; at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill and The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
Performers: Jennifer Aylmer, soprano, Randi Marrazzo, soprano, Sally Wolf, soprano, Megan Dey-Toth, mezzo soprano, Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Timothy Bentch, tenor, Markus Beam, baritone, The Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Mark Anderson, Conductor, Patricia Giangiulio, French Horn, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by Christina Stasiuk and George Farion

The Raven (new version with Prologue) (text by Edgar Allan Poe)
For soprano, mezzo soprano, countertenor, tenor, baritone, string quartet, and piano; duration: 27:00
Premiered on “The Raven – A Poe Fest”
November 7 and 8, 2015; at Dumbarton Concerts, Washington, D.C., and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Emily Noël, soprano, Suzanne DuPlantis, mezzo soprano, Roger Isaacs, countertenor, James Reese, tenor, Steven Combs, baritone, June Huang violin, Christof Richter violin, Marta Soderberg Howard viola, Benjamin Wensel cello, Nicholas White, conductor, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest

Maurice Wright
http://www.mauricewright.org/

To Kiss the Earth (text by Marguerite Wildenhain)
For baritone, string quartet, and reader; duration: 20:00
Premiered on “To Kiss the Earth – potter, poet, and guide”
November 12  and 13, 2011; at Philadelphia University and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: William Stone, Baritone, The Ravenhill String Quartet, and Suzanne DuPlantis, reader
Commissioned by Lyric Fest, Sponsored by The Temple University Research Incentive Fund

“Hold my hands, lover” (text by Virginia Robinson)
For soprano and piano; duration: 4:10
Premiered on “Dear March – Come in – American Women Poets in Song”
March 28 and 30, 2014; at Bryn Mawr College and The Academy of Vocal Arts
Performers: Kiera Duffy, soprano, and Laura Ward, piano
Commissioned by Lyric Fest