Commissioning Club

Commissioning Club

Join the Moab Music Festival Commissioning Club and become part of the musical creation process! This is an exciting opportunity to get in on the artistic action by supporting the inception of brand new chamber music works composed by today’s most notable living composers.

Have you always dreamed of making something creative from the ground up? Perhaps actively contributing to the creation of art in our time? It’s an electrifying process and you can be a part of the future of chamber music by joining our Moab Music Festival Commissioning Club! Club members help MMF commission new works annually, taking a journey through the composition process, from inception to the world premiere performance during the Festival.

*$500 minimum donation for annual commissioning club membership.

To donate/join online, visit our donation link by clicking the button below and select “Commissioning Club” from the appropriate dropdown menu.

Questions? Contact Development Director, Erin Groves at

Kenji Bunch with George Takei, 2021
Dawn Avery, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, Martha Redbone,
Mark Billy, Timothy Long, 2022

All members of the Club receive special VIP benefits, including the following: 

    • Exclusive project updates
    • Two tickets with priority seating to each world-premiere performance
      (Ticket redemption reduces the tax deductible value of your donation by the face value of the tickets.)
    • Invitation to a closed rehearsal
    • Opportunity to meet the composer(s)
    • Acknowledgement in the MMF program book
    • Copy of 2024 Donor Newsletter (early summer)

2024: Colorado Currents – Works Inspired by the Colorado River  

Maya Miro Johnson
Bobby Ge
Roydon Tse

The mighty Colorado River flows right through downtown Moab and has been the backdrop, and even stage, for hundreds of Moab Music Festival concerts. This significant natural resource is the focus of the MMF Commissioning Club’s fourth year and the Moab Music Festival’s 32nd season. MMF has selected three talented composers, each to create site-specific pieces exploring varying perspectives, cultural interpretations, and current challenges facing water and the West. Through these projects, we hope to inspire ongoing stewardship of this precious resource. 

Composers include winners of the MMF’s 2023 Colorado River Commissioning Competition, Maya Miro Johnson and Roydon Tse, whose works will premiere at the Colorado Currents concert, Saturday, August 31 at Red Cliffs Lodge. Additionally, established composer and friend of Robert Black, Eve Beglarian will premiere a site-specific piece as part of the Robert Black Tribute concert, Saturday, September 7 at Star Hall 

We invite you to join us in bringing these exciting new works to life by helping support the commissioning fees, musicians, and performance logistics behind these World Premiers.   

To donate to this year’s Commissioning Club online, click the Join button below and select “Commissioning Club” from the appropriate dropdown menu.

Eve Beglarian

2023: Two water-inspired commissions & world premieres

Timo Andres, 2023
Pius Cheung, 2023

Brooklyn-based pianist/composer Timo Andres premiered his new quartet Tooth and Claw for piano, violin, clarinet, and cello on American Minimalism: A Retrospective at Star Hall. The New Yorker’s Alex Ross wrote of Timo’s duo piano album that “it achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene.”

Known for his “eloquent phrasing and wide range of color and dynamics” (The New York Times) percussionist/composer Pius Cheung has thrilled past MMF audiences with his dazzling marimba skills and compelling compositional voice. His MMF 2023 commission Samsara is a quintet for piano, percussion, and strings tied into the season’s focus on water. The work premiered at Water World: Rivers, Dams, Bridges and Floods at Red Cliffs Lodge.

2022: Sunrise on Turtle Island: Contemporary Native American Voices

Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, Martha Redbone, Mark Billy,
Dawn Avery, Timothy Long, 2022

Conductor and pianist Timothy Long (Muscogee, Thlopthlocco, Choctaw) curated and led performances of three world premieres exploring the new generation of Native American composers. Dawn Avery (Mohawk), Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (Chickasaw), Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache), and Martha Redbone (Choctaw) brought their unique musical voices and their own stories of growing up in America to this celebration of new and existing works. 

Turtle Island refers to the origin story of North America as a great turtle, on whose back we have built our civilizations. This concert honored our current Native American artists and acknowledges their ancestors whose land we now call America.

2021: Lost Freedom:  Japanese American Confinement in the U.S.

The inaugural MMF Commissioning Club Project was a resounding success! In 2021, MMF commissioned a brand new chamber music work for famed actor George Takei written by Japanese American composer Kenji Bunch. The work Lost Freedom: A Memory featured Takei himself as narrator, leading the audience through a dark part of American history that saw Japanese Americans stripped of their property and liberty, and revisiting his past growing up in Japanese American Confinement camps during WWII. The composition was the centerpiece of an evening concert and group of events surrounding the ideas of Japanese American Confinement in the U.S. and anti-Asian bias. Other events included a visit to Moab’s Citizen Isolation Center at nearby Dalton Wells and a panel discussion with Bunch, Takei, Utah State Senator Jani Iwamoto, and American politician and educator S. Floyd Mori, with all events documented by 15 time Emmy-award winning filmmaker John Forsen.