Caroline Shaw

Is A Rose; The Listeners

Matthew Aucoin

The No One's Rose

George Lewis

Future Partner

New Music for Old Instruments

As a leading steward of historical legacy, Philharmonia invests in the future by commissioning new works that demonstrate the enduring influence of inspirations from the past. The goal is for audiences to hear new music balanced with the baroque and classical canon. In 2016, Philharmonia publicly launched the New Music for Old Instruments  initiative in 2016 to share new works with audiences regularly, and with composers who write so beautifully for period instruments.
PBO cherishes its long-standing relationship with Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw and has commissioned, premiered, and recorded a three-song cycle written by Shaw for mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter (Is A Rose, 2016–2020), as well as a large-scale choral and orchestral work by Shaw with contralto Avery Amereau and bass-baritone Dashon Burton inspired by the Golden Record (The Listeners, 2020).
Other contemporary works commissioned by PBO include a one-act opera To Hell and Back (2006) by Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, starring Isabel Bayrakdarian and Patti Lupone. Future seasons promise further inspiration and invention from Caroline ShawMason Bates, Tarik O’Regan, and George Lewis.

Upcoming New Music for Old Instruments Events

November 10–14, 2021

Paul Stanhope’s Giving Ground

The music of composer Paul Stanhope is full of drama and warmth, reflective of the character of his home country, Australia, and here he gives us his own, distinctive take on the famous La Folia folk melody. This co-commission with the Australian Baroque Orchestra marks our first partnership with our friends Down Under.

featured in the November 2021 concert set
Jonathan Cohen, conductor
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
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Tuesday, April 12, 2022 | 8:00 p.m.
ODC Theater, San Francisco

Voice Crossing

Using striking examples from his own output and those of his contemporaries, as well as some vivid gems from as far back as the 14th century, Tarik O’Regan explores the role of the human voice from a composer’s perspective. Beginning with a solitary singer and culminating in the combined forces of PBO’s Chamber Players and Chorale, Tarik will trace a unique journey across centuries and cultures to arrive at the very music he is writing today, here in San Francisco, as PBO’s Composer in Residence.

Tarik O’Regan, Composer in Residence
Richard Egarr, Music Director
Philharmonia Chamber Players
Philharmonia Chorale
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What’s New & H.I.P. with Tarik & Rick

Hosted by PBO Artistic Partner composer Tarik O’Regan and Music Director Richard Egarr (“Tarik & Rick”) and established during PBO’s 2020/21 virtual season, each episode of What’s New & H.I.P. features riveting interview, sharing personal insights and inspirations surrounding writing new music for old instruments — amidst lots of laughs and a whole lot of fun!
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Tarik O'Regan

Future Partner

Jake Heggie

To Hell and Back

Mason Bates

Future Partner