George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. Composer Carlos Simon and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph visited the site as part of their work on brea(d)th, commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra, which will perform the score in May 2023.

“In the summer of 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, the Minnesota Orchestra’s musicians and staff brainstormed how to make change,” writes Jenna Ross in Friday’s (4/29) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “This week, the orchestra announced the commission of a major composition for orchestra and choir by two Black artists: Carlos Simon, one of the country’s most in-demand composers, and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph. The piece—titled ‘brea(d)th’—honors not only Floyd but the work toward equity and healing that the Washington, D.C.-based duo have witnessed on the ground in Minneapolis…. The Minnesota Orchestra will premiere the piece in May 2023, but its leaders hope it will be performed often and beyond Orchestra Hall…. The three-part, 30-minute work for orchestra, choir and soloists is taking shape over several visits to Minneapolis…. While [Simon and Joseph were] in Minneapolis earlier this month, … news broke that the police officer who fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke—in an apartment complex across the street from Orchestra Hall—would not be charged…. Simon and Joseph are crafting a version of the piece that can performed by a smaller ensemble at, say, George Floyd Square.”