Professor Courtney Bryan named LPO creative partner

Mackenzie Bookamer, Arcade Editor

courtney bryan stands in front of greenery
Professor Courtney Bryan becomes the first Creative partner of the LPO. (Arielle Pentes)

Tulane Professor Courtney Bryan was recently named the first Creative Partner of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Bryan is a pianist and composer from New Orleans, as well as being the Albert and Linda Mintz Professor of Music in the School of Liberal Arts. Bryan’s compositions focus on exploring human emotions through sound and how to convey this through a wide variety of genres of music. She has received degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Rutgers University and Columbia University. She also completed postdoctoral work at Princeton University in the department of African American Studies. 

Bryan will hold her new role at the Philharmonic for three years. She will work closely with Carlos Miguel Prieto, the principal conductor of the LPO, offering ideas on how to expand the creative and artistic horizons of the LPO. As a native New Orleanian, Bryan expresses a personal sentiment towards the LPO

“I grew up in New Orleans and the LPO is my introduction to live orchestral music,” Bryan said. “I have worked with various orchestras in the country and even was a composer in residence with the Jacksonville Symphony 2018-2020, but it is very special to get to work with my home orchestra in such an involved way.”

 

As well as offering artistic support, Bryan will also be composing works for the LPO to perform. One of her works, the “Syzygy” violin concerto, was recently performed on March 12 by Jennifer Koh, in an online concert that was highly anticipated

“By the end of my 3 year term I will compose a piece for the LPO that celebrates the city and also my experiences as Creative Partner,” Bryan said. 

Bryan also hopes to expand representation in the LPO’s programming, highlighting compositions by those in underrepresented communities. She also expresses a desire to integrate the LPO into the New Orleans community, making music more accessible to those in underprivileged communities. 

“In addition to the LPO programming my music, I look forward to being in conversation about music programming in general, esp[ecially] as it relates to living composers and composers of various identities (race, gender, music styles),” Bryan said. “I am involved with music education in the Music for Life program with the LPO teaching young people how to compose.”

Bryan’s partnership with the LPO is not the first time her compositional work has been recognized, as her works have been performed in venues like Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Her works have also been performed at the widely popular New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. She has three recordings available: “Quest for Freedom,”  “This Little Light of Mine” and “Sounds of Freedom.” Bryan is currently working on a commission with International Contemporary Ensemble, Opera Philadelphia and FringeArts to create an opera. 

You can read more about Bryan and her works here