The Princeton Symphony Orchestra has been named the recipient of a 2016 Art Works award from The National Endowment for the Arts to help fund a community engagement project centered on Hiraeth, a new work by Princeton composer Sarah Kirkland Snider. The work was co-commissioned for the orchestra’s 35th anniversary as a tribute to Portia Sonnenfeld, who was Snider’s first teacher and the founding artistic director of the orchestra.
“It’s terrific to receive this recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, as it validates our mission to continue to bring new music to our patrons and the greater Princeton community,” said Marc Uys, executive director of the orchestra. “Beyond being a talented woman, Sarah is quite simply a talented composer, with whom we are very fortunate to work.”
Snider’s works have been commissioned and performed widely by orchestras and smaller ensembles, including the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the Grammy Award-winning group Roomful of Teeth. In September, she released her second full-length album, Unremembered, on New Amsterdam Records. She received a master’s degree and artist diploma from the Yale School of Music.
Hiraeth is a meditation on home, family, heritage, and identity, and will be performed under Princeton Symphony Orchestra Music Director Rossen Milanov at the orchestra’s final classical series concert of the season on Sunday, May 15, in Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University. A series of community engagement events also is planned that will include lectures, in-school workshops, and a special chamber concert designed to explore the music and inspirations behind Snider’s composition.
The National Endowment for the Arts announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016. The Art Works program supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines.