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Greenwood Commissioning Project

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Chamber Music Tulsa has made a long-term commitment to promote equity in chamber music by commissioning new works from underrepresented composers, particularly people of color and women. Since 2020, we have commissioned two African American composers to create chamber music inspired by the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Anthony R. Green and Barron Ryan will offered distinctive viewpoints through their compositions.


Social-justice artist Anthony R. Green composed a string quartet and engaged Tulsans in conversations about the ongoing social effects of the race massacre. The Thalea String Quartet performed Green’s work throughout Tulsa during a two-week community-outreach residency in May 2021. Thalea's residency will also include performing for fourth graders in Tulsa Public Schools as part of Any Given Child Tulsa.

Tulsa native Barron Ryan will created a new piano trio to be premiered in May 2021. The performers (with Ryan as pianist) will also visited three high schools to perform the work and share their experiences as professional musicians. In 2023, Barron expanded the work to include two additional pieces. The entire selection premiered in September 2023 at concert by candlelight held at Guthrie Green. Click to on the video below to watch part of the performance and hear from Barron Ryan reflecting on his journey writing this new piece.






















Chamber Music Tulsa believes that everyone deserves a chance to enjoy the art of live chamber music, and that the activities we are sponsoring can foster reconciliation and healing in our city, long haunted by the tragedy that unfolded in 1921.

Barron Ryan

Barron Ryan

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Chamber Music Tulsa featured in National Endowment for the Arts Magazine 

Chamber Music Tulsa’s commissioning project for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial was recently featured in the National Endowment for the Arts American Artscape Magazine. "Sacred Ground" was written by Ann Meier Baker, and the following is an excerpt from the article:


“In 2021, to observe the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the City of Tulsa asked a broad range of city leaders to think about ways to mark the anniversary. Bruce Sorrell, executive director of Chamber Music Tulsa, considered several ideas. In conversations with members of the organization’s board, they decided to commission Black composers and mark this centennial with new chamber music . . . The project, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, also would provide a platform for Black composers whose compositions would help diversify the chamber music canon.”


For access to the whole article CLICK HERE

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Photo from

Click on the video below to watch the Thalea String Quartet perform Anthony R. Green’s “Sacred Ground: (…we can still feel the tremors…)

Anthony R. Green is one of the composers, and you can read about his new work in the "Sacred Ground" article by Ann Meier Baker (link above). 

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Photo by Titilayo Ayangade

Chamber Music Tulsa to Receive $35,000 Grant

from the National Endowment for the Arts

Chamber Music Tulsa has been approved for a $35,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the premiere performances and community-engagement activities related to new works commissioned by Chamber Music Tulsa to commemorate the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre.


Chamber Music Tulsa's project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Chamber Music Tulsa” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Chamber Music Tulsa is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”


Chamber Music Tulsa Executive Director Bruce Sorrell states: “This is Chamber Music Tulsa’s first NEA grant, and we are honored to be one of only four arts organizations in Oklahoma to receive funding in this round. Our planning began more than two years ago to participate in the Race Massacre Centennial commemoration. We made a commitment to building equity in our field by commissioning new works from Black composers.”


The grant supports performances and activities related to two commissions:

  • Tulsa native Barron Ryan has composed a piano trio (piano, violin, cello) titled “My Soul is Full of Troubles.” Ryan will be the pianist for the first performances of his trio. The performance dates will be announced soon.

  • Social-justice artist and composer Anthony R. Green is composing a string quartet that will be video-recorded by the Thalea String Quartet as part of Any Given Child Tulsa in April and May this year. All 3,000+ fourth graders in Tulsa Public Schools will have access to this presentation. Chamber Music Tulsa also plans to host a community residency with the Thalea String Quartet featuring the work when it is safe to do so.


Sorrell adds, “Commissioning composers to write new chamber music is a bold act of hope. It is a statement of our belief that creating art that reflects who we are matters now and for the future, and it connects us to chamber music’s living tradition.”


Click here for more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement.

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