Restoration of Works by William Grant Still

The Philadelphia Orchestra



Yannick Nézet-Séguin with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Photo by Chris Kendig.


Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Orchestra.


Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Jessica Griffin.

The Philadelphia Orchestra recovers the less commonly known musical works of 20th-century Black composer William Grant Still through performances in concert hall, community, and virtual settings. Though many of Still’s compositions were recognized during his lifetime (1895–1978), his complete body of work continues to be overlooked, and this project provides it with wider visibility. Influenced by jazz, spirituals, and other genres, Still’s body of work includes five symphonies, four ballets, nine operas, over thirty choral works, as well as art songs, chamber music, and works for solo instruments. In cooperation with the composer’s daughter, Judith Still, the orchestra is restoring previously neglected musical scores. Program notes, blog posts, and videos place Still’s work in historical and social context.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.