The past several years have sparked numerous projects based on nationalist and patriotic themes. The opportunity to engage with such well known material is often appealing given the level of familiarity most audiences have with the original material. However, anyone who has lived through recent history can likely understand that such material has become (re)charged depending on context. My take on this particular project was to offer an exhausted and disillusioned variation on the theme, paralleling our current state of exhaustion and bewilderment.
Jonathan Bailey Holland’s works have been commissioned and performed by the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, National, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and South Bend Symphony Orchestras; Da Capo Chamber Players; Left Coast Chamber Ensemble; Plymouth Music Series of Minnesota (currently Vocal Essence), and many others. A recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, and a Fromm Foundation Commission, he has received honors from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, American Music Center, ASCAP, the Presser Foundation, and more. He served as the first ever Composer-in-Residence for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during their 2018-2019 season, and served as Classical Roots Composer-in-Residence for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during that same season. He has held similar roles with the Ritz Chamber Players; South Bend Symphony; and Radius Ensemble. His music has been recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony; Detroit Symphony and numerous others. Recent highlights include performances by Hotel Elefant, Emmanuel Music featuring the Arneis Quartet, commissions by Boston’s Phoenix Ensemble, pianist Awadagin Pratt with Room Full of Teeth and A Far Cry, and more. Holland is Chair of Composition, Contemporary Music, and Core Studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
As the artistic director of Center for Musical Excellence, I am always on the look out for new and undiscovered talents. They come to me, sometimes, by my colleagues’ recommendations and other times through young artists’ own research about our organization. Tyson Davis and Andrew Bambridge are currently on our roster of CME Young Artists, whom we mentor. Patricio Molina is a CME alumnus. Theo Chandler, Ji-Young Ko, and Daniel Newman-Lessler applied for our Grant program, and I got to know their work through that process. I decide on young artists when I notice a deep passion and drive within them, plus a certain kind of sparkle in the personality and lots of humility. In addition to musical talents, I believe these are the qualities that will take the young artists far. CME’s motto is "Moving Musicians Forward". I’ve chosen our Discovery Composers based on these qualities, whom we felt we could easily move forward.
- Min Kwon