Louisville Orchestra Commissioning Project
- Marion Korda
A program initiated in 1948 by the mayor of Louisville, Charles P. Farnsley, and developed with the support and leadership of Robert Whitney, conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. Using resources from the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, the orchestra embarked on an extensive project to commission from renowned composers new works for an ensemble of about 50 players; one work was to be presented at each of the orchestra’s regular subscription concerts. The intention was to focus attention on the composers and their music rather than the performers. The project drew considerable national interest in 1950 when the orchestra performed some of the commissioned works at Carnegie Hall in New York; included on the program were Claude Almand’s John Gilbert: a Steamboat Overture (1948), Schuman’s ballet Judith (1949, with Martha Graham in the title role), David Diamond’s Timon of Athens (1949), Martin’s Intermezzo (...