Following roughly 130 submissions from Black and Hispanic composers, five cello and piano works from a Fall 2021 call for scores have been selected to be included in a fully funded recording and release, made possible by PARMA Recordings and a grant from the Sphinx Organization.
Launched by PARMA Recordings and seasoned collaborators cellist Thomas Mesa and pianist Michelle Cann, the project’s goal is to raise the voices of musicians from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in classical music with fully funded performances and recording opportunities.
Mesa says Sphinx is a unique and exciting organization, whose founding mission is to transform lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Made possible through the organization’s Sphinx MPower grant with design, content, publicity, and distribution services funded by PARMA, the call aims to eliminate obstacles that composers often face by providing resources and funding for their projects.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Tommy and Michelle, two of the brightest talents out there on their respective instruments, to help bring these works to life. Teaming up with the Sphinx Organization on a project so closely aligned with our long-time mission of presenting new music from contemporary artists is both meaningful and energizing, and we’re looking forward to supporting Andrea, Mario, Kevin, Sebastian, and Carlos throughout the process and beyond.”
– PARMA Recordings CEO Bob Lord
Mesa and Cann have chosen five works for cello and piano from the call to include in their recording. These selected artists and their works will receive fully funded recording sessions with PARMA’s GRAMMY-winning audio team, and will be released by the company’s three time GRAMMY-nominated Navona Records imprint.
Mesa sees great opportunity here, with the project’s ability to focus the recording on compositional acumen and strength of performance, rather than it being dependent on the composer’s ability to fund the project.
Production is set to begin in spring 2022. In addition to their release and future performances, Mesa would like to help increase composers’ visibility in multiple realms, possibly connecting the resulting project with Sphinx Connect and making the chosen scores increasingly accessible to performing ensembles.
Dive in and learn more about the selected composers: