Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the world's leading orchestras. Beyond concerts at its home venue the Kimmel Center, the Orchestra performs for Philadelphia audiences during the summer months at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in venues across the region, and it tours internationally. Recently, the Orchestra was named BBC Music Magazine’s Orchestra of the Year, heralded the return of music to Carnegie Hall, and won a GRAMMY Award for the music of Florence Price.
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.