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Knoxville Symphony Orchestra completes ambitious KSO1x1 music project

September 15, 2021

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has completed the KSO1x1 Project, featuring 24 short pieces commissioned from 25 composers and digitally premiered by the Symphony’s musicians.

The KSO1x1 Project pairs a KSO musician with a donor who sponsors the composition of a short solo piece. Composers from Knoxville to Belgium to Tanzania participated. The sponsor of the piece attends the premiere of the work at the recording session and receives an autographed copy of the score from the composer.

“This project started as a creative way to feature the individual talents of our KSO musicians, and it sparked enthusiasm among our musicians, supporters and followers beyond anything we could have hoped for,” KSO Music Director Aram Demirjian said. “There is a piece for nearly every instrument in the orchestra, and the composers come from a wide range of backgrounds, musical styles and years of experience. I am so grateful to the composers for their inventiveness and collaboration, our musicians for their artistry, our staff for their extensive behind-the-scenes work and our donors – many of whom were commissioning new music for the first time.”

Highlights of the KSO1x1 Project include “Smoky Mountain Air” by Grammy Award-winning East Tennessee native Jennifer Higdon, “Reflection and Groove” by Grammy Award-winning composer and bassist John Clayton and “Within” by pianist and NPR personality Lara Downes.

Videos of the commissioned pieces were released weekly on KSO’s social media channels from February to August 2021 and are available to view on KSO’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and website.

The complete KSO1x1 Project composers, pieces and performers are:

  • “Impromptu” by Kinan Abou-afach
    Performed by D. Scot Williams, cello
  • “Majarete” by Efrain Amaya
    Performed by Edward and Mary Pulgar, violins
  • “Free Verse No. 1” by Olivia Bennett
    Performed by Jessica Petrasek, flute
  • “Muted Prayer” by Dirk Brossé
    Performed by Stacy Nickell, cello
  • “Petrichor” by Alexandra T Bryant
    Performed by William Shaub, violin
  • “One Miniature” by Yi Yiing Chen
    Performed by I-Pei Lin, violin
  • “Reflection and Groove” by John Clayton
    Performed by Steve Benne, double bass
  • “Half Full” by Viet Cuong
    Performed by Andy Adzima and John Winemiller, percussion
  • “Within” by Lara Downes
    Performed by Emi Kagawa, piano
  • “Yellow Poplar with Birdsong” by Amber Ferenz
    Performed by Zach Millwood
  • “Obsidian” by Douglas Hedwig
    Phillip Chase Hawkins, trumpet
  • “Smoky Mountain Air” by Jennifer Higdon
    Performed by Rachel Loseke, violin
  • “Nowhere to Hide” by Alice Jones
    Kelsey Bentley, French horn
  • “hill and valley” by Mary Kouyoumdjian
    Performed by Hillary Herndon, viola
  • “O-O-O” by Yaz Lancaster
    Performed by Claire Chenette, oboe
  • “Ten Children #13” by Michael Lowenstern
    Performed by Victor Chavez, bass clarinet
  • “Ping-Pong” by Dosia McKay
    Performed by Sande MacMorran, tuba
  • “Marble City Rhapsody” by Gary Powell Nash
    Performed by Brian Winegardner, trumpet
  • “Tucheze Sote (Let Us All Dance)” by Emmanuel and Megan Ndale
    Performed by Garl Sperl, clarinet
  • “Four Haiku” by Jason Overall
    Performed by Sarah Ringer, violin
  • “Touch of the Master’s Hand” by Lucas Richman
    Performed by Sean Claire, violin
  • “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: anemoia” by Annika K. Socolofsky
    Performed by Bob Adamcik, vibraphone
  • “Last Boomsday” by Jorge Variego
    Performed by Kyle Venlet
  • “A Day in the Life of a Psychonaut” by Dana Wilson
    Performed by Jeffery Whaley, French horn

For more information about the 1×1 Project or partnering with the KSO, visit or call 865-291-3310.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and Civic Auditorium, as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks, and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.