The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra gave the U.S. premiere of Tyshawn Sorey’s “Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith)” in March 2023 with Tim McAllister, saxophone.

In Thursday’s (5/30) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Christopher Daniel writes, “In classical music, concertos usually feature string instruments out front, full of fast notes and explosive melodies. Composer Tyshawn Sorey instead decided to slow things down on his Pulitzer-Prize-winning musical piece ‘Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith),’ originally co-commissioned by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Having made its U.S. premiere at Atlanta Symphony Hall on March 16, 2023 … [the work] is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s first commissioned work with Sorey … The composition is also the first commissioned by the orchestra to earn a Pulitzer, and the first Pulitzer Prize-winning composition written for saxophone…. Sorey’s Pulitzer Prize win comes at a celebratory moment for ASO. The orchestra recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Talent Development Program, a professional track that trains Black and Latino classical musicians who aspire to land careers in classical music…. ‘Adagio’ came to be in 2019, when ASO proposed co-commissioning a new orchestral work to New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices Program. The classical music organization’s grant initiative pairs composers from underrepresented and marginalized groups with orchestras, and other classical music ensembles. ASO was paired with Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, and Sorey’s composition is the result.”