Composer Fang Man on stage in front of the orchestra speaking into a microphone.

At the San Francisco Symphony’s world premiere of Fang Man’s Song of the Flaming Phoenix, from left: Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer Fang Man, and sheng soloist Wu Wei. Photo by Kristen Loken.

New works by women composers were increasingly performed by orchestras this winter, thanks in part to the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commissions Program for women composers, an initiative of the League of American Orchestras, in partnership with American Composers Orchestra. In February, the Houston-based ROCO (formerly River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) played the world premiere of Leanna Primiani’s Neither man nor money validate my worth, led by guest conductor Sarah Hicks. In early March, the San Francisco Symphony gave the first performances of Fang Man’s Song of the Flaming Phoenix: Concerto for Sheng and Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, with Wu Wei as the sheng soloist. In mid-March, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Stéphane Denève, premiered Stacy Garrop’s Goddess Triptych. What’s ahead for the Toulmin program? World premieres by Cindy Cox at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and by Wang Jie at the Buffalo Philharmonic in May and June—with more to come.

Side view of Leanna Primiani just in front of the stage speaking to conductor Sarah Hicks and the orchestra musicians on stage.

Leanna Primiani, at far left, at a rehearsal of her new Neither man nor money validate my worth with ROCO and conductor Sarah Hicks. Photo courtesy of ROCO.

Stacy Garrop, Stéphane Denève, and musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra standing on stage during applause.

Composer Stacy Garrop takes a bow at the world premiere of her Goddess Triptych with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stéphane Denève. Photo courtesy of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.