Interlochen partners with Juilliard Pre-College to commission new works by underrepresented composers

The first composition, by Mary Watkins, will premiere at Interlochen April 12.

Juilliard logo

Interlochen Center for the Arts and Juilliard Pre-College have established a new partnership in which the two organizations will co-commission new works by composers from diverse gender, racial, ethnic, and cultural heritages. The partnership is part of the Kayden Music Commissioning Program at Juilliard Pre-College, made possible by a gift from Pre-College alumnus and Juilliard trustee Jerold S. Kayden and his wife, Stephanie. The fund’s goal is to build a more representative world of classical music repertoire.

Together, Juilliard and Interlochen will debut two orchestral commissions per year for three years starting in the 2024-25 season. On April 12, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra will premiere the program’s first commissioned orchestral work, by Mary Watkins. A few weeks later, Watkins’ composition will receive its New York premiere by the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony on May 4. The Interlochen-Juilliard collaboration extends the impact of each commission, reaching broader audiences with the composers’ work and forging connections between young musicians in both programs.

"We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Juilliard Pre-College," says Eric Stomberg, Director of Music at Interlochen Center for the Arts. "Through commissioning and premiering these compositions, we introduce our students—and our audiences—to the powerful impact of new music written by composers from diverse gender, racial, ethnic, and cultural heritages."

Tickets are on sale for Interlochen’s April 12 concert featuring Mary Watkins’ newly-commissioned work.