Courtney Bryan – LPO Creative Partner
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Creative Partner
Oberlin Conservatory – BM
Rutgers Univeristy – MM
Columbia University – DMA
Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University
New Orleanian Courtney Bryan appointed Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s first Creative Partner
Celebrated composer and pianist noted for influences that reflect New Orleans’ eclectic musical traditions brings enhanced creative vitality and community connections to LPO programs
Three-Year Appointment extends through 2022-23 Season
Hailed as a “composer and pianist of panoramic interest” by The New York Times, Courtney Bryan has been named the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s (LPO) first Creative Partner. The news was announced by Carlos Miguel Prieto, Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin Music Director and Principal Conductor. Bryan collaborated with the orchestra in the past including the premier of her work Rejoice in 2019. She brings creative vitality and collaborative energy to the orchestra’s artistic and community programs. The three-year appointment that started this season extends through June 2023. Bryan joins an artistic leadership team consisting of Prieto and Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins, making the LPO the only major American orchestra whose artistic leadership positions are held exclusively by Black and Latinx artists.
Equally important to her artistic role, Bryan will strengthen the impact of the LPO’s education and community programs. A new project includes work with the LPO’s Music for Life program to workshop the process of improvisation and composition with young members of our New Orleans community. The “Sounds Of,” program offers children at partner schools the opportunity to explore the music that surrounds their own lives and hone their creative voices, regardless of any prior musical experience.
Courtney Bryan will have a major concert presence during each year of her residency, including this season’s performances of her woodwind quintet Blooming, and her violin concerto Syzygy with soloist Jennifer Koh, conducted by Prieto. Both will be featured on the LPO digital series, “Orpheum Sessions.” Blooming was released in September; and Syzygy will be released on Friday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. CT as part of a concert also featuring Carlos Simon’s This Land and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Clarinet Concerto.
Bryan appeared as a pianist in collaboration with LPO musicians in the digital chamber music series “Suite Sundays” on November 8, 2020. The program features Bryan’s compositions Spirits, dedicated to victims of police brutality, and Elegy. In subsequent seasons, the LPO will perform additional music by Courtney Bryan and commission a large-scale multi-genre work to be premiered in the 2022-23 season and presented across Louisiana.
“From the first time we performed Courtney Bryan’s music at the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, I knew she has a special voice that could touch audiences worldwide, but especially here in New Orleans, the city of her birth and musical training,” exclaimed Prieto. “Her music speaks to us with urgency and honesty, and her fluency across musical genres matches the eclecticism of the cultural traditions of this community. Her voice, her ideas, and her art will infuse the LPO with vitality and possibility.”
“I am thrilled to serve as the first Creative Partner of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra,” shared Bryan. “Growing up in New Orleans, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has inspired me from an early age, and I am enthusiastic about our upcoming musical, educational, and other creative ventures in the New Orleans community and beyond.”
“As a composer and performing musician, Courtney Bryan is the perfect artist to serve as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s first Creative Partner,” says Hannah Yim, orchestra president and associate concertmaster. “She inspires us to embrace music of all kinds and from all voices.”
For more information on Courtney Bryan and the LPO, as well as concert and performance information visit LPOmusic.com.
About Courtney Bryan
Courtney Bryan is “a pianist and composer of panoramic interests” (New York Times). Her music is in conversation with various musical genres, including jazz and other types of experimental music, as well as traditional gospel, spirituals, and hymns. Bryan has academic degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Rutgers University (MM), and Columbia University (DMA) with advisor George Lewis, and completed postdoctoral studies in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Bryan is currently the Albert and Linda Mintz Professor of Music at Newcomb College, Tulane University. She served as the Mary Carr Patton Composer-in-Residence with the Jacksonville Symphony, 2018-20. Her work has been presented in a wide range of venues, and she has two recordings, Quest for Freedom and This Little Light of Mine. Bryan was the 2018 music recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2019 Bard College Freehand Fellow, and was recently a 2019-20 recipient of the Samuel Barber Rome Prize in Music Composition and a 2020 United States Artists Fellow. She has recently begun a new role as Creative Partner with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.