The Hildegard Commission is National Sawdust's mentorship initiative highlighting outstanding women and other marginalized genders in the early stages of their careers, supporting them with a commission, visionary mentorship, and access to a network of leading working collaborators.
In addition to a $5,000 cash prize, a commission for Pierrot-plus ensemble, a professional performance, and a live recording, the five winning composers will receive one-on-one mentorship with established figures in the field who also serve as judges for the competition, led by Paola Prestini, Composer, Co-Founder and Artistic Director at National Sawdust, and including composer Du Yun, composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón, composer and sound artist Miya Masaoka, and composer and sound artist Lena Platanos. The commissions will be performed and recorded at National Sawdust in March '23, and they will go on to be placed throughout the city at a yet to be announced site specific installation in April '23 in collaboration with the Onassis Foundation.
This year, the focus of the commission is sound art, and the poetry of the Greek poet, Cavafy.
National Sawdust Ensemble (NSE), led by cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, is the in house band of National Sawdust. Made up of highly acclaimed artists who are or have been members of the Da Capo Chamber Players, New York New Music Ensemble, the Internationally Contemporary Ensemble, Imani Winds, Flutronix, and the Kronos Quartet, this instrumentally flexible group is an integral part of National Sawdust Mentorship Initiatives, playing, teaching and collaborating with emerging and professional composers from the Blueprint Bridge Fellowship with The Juilliard School, as well as the internationally renowned Hildegard Commission Concert for composers who are women and other marginalized genders. The mission of the ensemble is to give composers and artists access to the high caliber of musicianship that is native to National Sawdust. The NSE has also supported projects such as Liederabend, Senses with Beth Morrison Projects.