2020 Commissioning Fund

Launched as part of its 20th anniversary celebration, the Gulf Coast Symphony created a new fund to commission and premiere at least ten new pieces for symphony orchestra from some of today’s best composers for the concert and theater stage. You will get to hear music that has never been heard before, and be a part of the process of the creation of new music!

Commissioned Works:


Cello Concerto by award-winning Chicago composer Ilya Levinson

Cellist Ian Maksin joined us for this world premiere. Not only recognized as one of the leading classical musicians of his generation, Maksin has taken the cello well outside its conventional scope, and plays jazz, world, blues, flamenco, rock, R&B, and pop, and has collaborated with such artists as Andrea Bocelli, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg, and Gloria Estefan. Ian says his main goal as an artist is “to close the gap between generations and societies through art, and make the beauty of cello music accessible to everyone.”

A 20th Anniversary Celebration Overture by New York–based composer Patrick Soluri

Soluri specializes in dramatic music for orchestra, ballet, opera, film, and TV. His love of telling stories through music is evident in his large body of work and commissions for the stage, screen, and concert hall. His music is performed regularly at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and throughout the United States and Europe.


Walt’s America for Chorus & Orchestra by Grammy award-winning composer Robert Paterson.

Walt’s America is based on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and follows through six of the poems comprising the work. Paterson’s goal was “to capture and highlight a variety of themes that permeate Whitman’s poems, and in particular, themes that have to do with his love of America and American Citizens.”


Escape for Orchestra by composer Jeff Myers.

Works in Progress

A new work for Chorus & Orchestra by local composer and Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory at Florida Gulf Coast University Jason Bahr.

A new opera based on Gulliver’s Travels by internationally acclaimed composer Victoria Bond, with a libretto by Stephen Grecco.

Interested in being a part of creating these new works and supporting the commissioning costs?

Contact Dr. Andrew Kurtz at (239) 277-1700.

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