As we live through a time of disruption and disconnection, with COVID-19, the recent US election, deep polarization, entrenched systemic racism and police brutality, it is clear that the years 2020 and 2021 will be seared in our collective memories for a long time. In response to this turbulent period in history, Grammy Award-winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman developed This Is America, a new commissioning and recording project featuring over twenty new works for solo violin, written by American and US-based artists.
Commissioned by twenty presenters in 11 states and Washington DC, This is America celebrates our country’s rich cultural tapestry and its myriad perspectives, thoughts and ideas, offering a vivid counterpoint to the idea that this land can be understood through a singular, dominant point of view. Each composition in the anthology reflects on the current state of American society in a personal and intimate way, looking through an unflinching lens at universal topics like separation, loneliness, hope and love. The program will include the world premiere of Aeryn Santillan's "withdraw," commissioned by The Wallis.