9 Philly organizations share $858,000 in music grants

Nine music organizations have been awarded a total of $858,430 in grants through the Pew Charitable Trusts's Philadelphia Music Project, a program run by Pew's Center for Arts and Heritage, center officials announced Wednesday.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia was awarded $200,000 to produce Silent Night, a new opera by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, co-commissioned by the opera company and the Minnesota Opera, where it received its world premiere in November 2011.

Commissioned in 2008, Silent Night adapts French writer-director Christian Carion's 2005 film Joyeux Noël, set on the Western Front during World War I.

Al-Bustan, Seeds of Culture received a $70,000 grant to help present its 2012-2013 Arab Music Concert Series, which will feature Philadelphia debuts for Turkish clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, Moroccan vocalist Karima Skalli, and Lebanese vocalist Rima Khcheich.

Other grants included: The Academy of Vocal Arts, $120,000, to produce French composer Jules Massenet's Don Quichotte, (marking the centennial of Massenet's death); Bowerbird, $70,000, to present Cage: Evolving Chance, a two-part festival featuring the music of John Cage and scheduled for the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013; Crossroads Music, $70,000, to present the Raga Samay Festival, a 24-hour marathon of Hindustani music, scheduled for the spring of 2013, in collaboration with the Sangeet Society and South Asia Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Other grants go to the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, $70,000, to commission and present a choral work by Julia Wolfe, cofounder of the New York City new music collective Bang on a Can; the Network for New Music, $70,000, to bring composer John Harbison to Philadelphia for a weeklong festival of two concerts and related events celebrating his classical- and jazz-inspired chamber music; SRUTI, the India Music & Dance Society, $53,000, to present two concerts that explore the influence of native and folk traditions upon Carnatic (South Indian classical) music; WXPN, $135,000, to produce the Mississippi Blues Project, a yearlong performance series bringing Mississippi blues to Philadelphia.