As a leading steward of historical legacy, Philharmonia invests in the future by commissioning new works that demonstrate the enduring influence of 17th- and 18th-century inspirations. The goal is for audiences to hear new music balanced with the baroque and classical canon. Philharmonia publicly launched the New Music for Old Instruments Initiative in 2016 to build this repertoire. Original commissions by prominent young composers, penned expressly for period instruments, illuminate how historic traditions inform contemporary creation.
PBO has commissioned and premiered a one-act opera by Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, and songs for Anne Sofie von Otter by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw. It co-produced a modern dramatization of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo with captivating video projections by Mark Grey, directed by Christopher Alden and starring Anthony Roth Costanzo, Davóne Tines, and Ambur Braid, which received rave reviews for its New York premiere at National Sawdust, and will appear with PBO in January 2020. Future seasons promise further inspiration and invention from Caroline Shaw, Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Mason Bates, and LA Opera artist-in-residence Matthew Aucoin.