The Sorel Organization is committed to creating change in today's music world by focusing our grant support to: 

  1. Amplify the voices of underrepresented composers

  1. Advance gender and racial equity in classical music

  1. Expand the classical music canon for future generations


Sorel Organization Summer 2023 E-News – Recordings! 

Over the years, the Sorel Organization has provided recording grants to women composers and instrumentalists, including Jessie Montgomery for her debut album Strum, Bora Yoon for Sunken Cathedral, and Lori Laitman for her opera The Scarlet Letter. My predecessor, the dearly missed Judy Cope, created the Sorel Classics label, releasing, among others, Judith Lang Zaimont’s fourth symphony, and a series of recordings by pianist Anna Shelest, including Donna Voce, featuring music by women composers from Fanny Mendelssohn to Chiayu Hsu. Last year the Sorel Board of Directors moved the stewardship of the record label to a fitting new home, Music & Arts Programs of America, where Sorel supported projects will continue to be released and are now distributed internationally. The first of these showcases the music of Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983), the only female member of the famous group of French composers, Les Six… Click here to continue reading the Summer newsletter

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Chen Yi inaugurates Claudette Sorel Visiting Artist residency

As the inaugural Claudette Sorel Visiting Artist at the State University of New York at Fredonia, composer Chen Yi returned to the School of Music in early February for a second residency week. The acclaimed composer, who was born in China and lived through the Cultural Revolution, has written for seemingly every combination of instruments, voices and ensembles. Over 300 students and faculty met with her for rehearsals, master classes and concerts of her music. Fredonia is where Claudette Sorel taught for many years; she was the first woman named Distinguished University Professor in the entire SUNY system. Chen Yi’s residency also included a “Women in Music” roundtable panel with Sorel Organization Managing Director Wende Persons. View Sorel residency events on the School of Music’s YouTube LIVE page.

Sorel Organization November 2022 E-News

I’ve been thinking a lot about Sorel Organization founder Claudette Sorel: her life as a pianist, teacher, and philanthropist, deeply committed to helping women achieve opportunity and equity in their musical careers. She focused her philanthropy particularly on women composers and conductors, as measurable areas of change. If she were still alive, she would be encouraged by the galvanizing increases in representation in concert halls and performing arts venues across the country! Click here to view the Fall newsletter on the Sorel Organization’s recent charitable activities. Plus, sign up for Sorel Organization news updates

U.S. Orchestras are playing more works by women and minorities

“American orchestras have long fallen short when it comes to performing compositions by women and people of color, sticking to a canon of music dominated by white, largely male composers,” says The New York Times in an article published 6/21/22. Responding to a new report released by the Institute for Composer Diversity at the State University of New York at Fredonia, the Times continues: “The protests over racial justice and gender disparities in the United States appear to have prompted some change. Compositions by women and people of color now make up about 23 percent of the pieces performed by orchestras, up from only  5 percent in 2015.” Is the change in programming for the 2021-22 season an outlier or a tipping point? Learn more... Download the report

Tania León receives Sorel Legacy Medallion

Congratulations to Tania J. León who received
the Sorel Organization’s Sorel Legacy Medallion on June 7, 2022 at the National Arts Club for her lifetime contributions as a woman in music and creative force for living composers! The 2021 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music discussed her career and new memoir, Tania León’s Stride, a Polyrhythmic Lifeand the program included music from Tania’s organization, Composers Now, with pieces by Joyce Solomon Moorman, Yumi Kurosawa, and Erica Lindsay. Sorel Board President Walter T. Killmer, Jr. presented the Medallion to Tania, with Paul Schwendener of the National Arts Club Board of Governors, and Sorel Organization Managing Director Wende Persons.

Sorel Classics moves to a new label home
We are pleased to announce that Music and Arts Programs of America, Inc., the Berkeley-based non-profit classical and jazz record label, recently acquired the Sorel Classics label to distribute the existing CD titles and projects, and to co-produce future recordings for the Sorel Organization. The Board of Directors and the Management of Music & Arts were especially drawn to the Sorel mission “to expand opportunities and stretch the boundaries for women musicians in the fields of conducting, composition, film scoring, performance, arts leadership, education, and scholarship.” Sorel Classics projects will augment the recorded repertoire by highlighting the contributions of women in music..

Explore Sorel Classics on Music & Arts.com

Sorel Organization May 2022 E-News

For an update of the Sorel Organization’s recent charitable activities, click here to view the May 2022 newsletter. 

Sign up for Sorel Organization news updates

Project to diversity classical recordings wins national radio contest

All Classical Portland, the Pacific Northwest’s 24-hour classical radio station, launched the Recording Inclusivity Initiative in January with the goal to address the lack of widely available recordings by women composers and composers of color. “If we don’t have them, we can’t play them,” stated CEO Suzanne Nance, who is leading the effort to make new recordings and recruiting classical stations across the country to join the Initiative. On November 9th ACP’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative was voted winner of Current’s 2021 “Local That Works” contest, which recognizes excellence in public media content and community engagement. The Sorel Organization is supporting the creation of a database for stations to share recordings and expand the playlists of classical stations nationwide. Read more here.

Watch ACP’s  Recording Inclusivity Initiative video

Claudette Sorel Rediscovered commemorative 2CD set reveals the artistry and musical curiosity of a late, great pianist and advocate for women in music

The Sorel Organization is thrilled to share the news of the release of a commemorative CD set celebrating the musical artistry of the late, great Sorel Organization founder, Claudette Sorel. She was first and foremost a pianist, and a phenomenal one at that.

Claudette Sorel Rediscovered spotlights gems from her out of print recordings on two discs of solo pieces and American concertos. We honor her legacy as a musician and as a philanthropist fiercely dedicated to creating opportunities for women in music through her charitable foundation.  Read more

Listen here to a conversation with JoAnn Falletta on WGTE about the recording. 

JoAnn Falletta joins

Sorel Organization Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Sorel Organization is thrilled to welcome the acclaimed, Grammy-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta as its newest member! Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn is a vibrant trailblazer and inspiration for the advancement of women in the arts and the expansion of classical music’s canon. Her association with the Sorel Organization dates back to 1996 when her friend Claudette Sorel launched the foundation with JoAnn as a founding Advisory Board member.

About JoAnn Falletta

Voices of Ascension launches Astronautica: Voices of Women in Space  

Nine women composers have set the words of women astronauts to music in Astronautica: Voices of Women in Space, which received its online premiere in January 2021.  Commissioned by Voices of Ascension, with support from the Sorel Organization, Astronautica is an hourlong presentation conceived and performed by Trio Triumphatrix that creatively blends voices, music, and video created from NASA footage. Click the image to view the teaser video.  

Watch Astronautica On Demand.

Amplifying Voices unites 30+ orchestras to address inequities in classical music

New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program, launched in January 2020 to promote marginalized voices in orchestral music, is growing to include at least 35 orchestras, which are working together to shift the canon for future generations. This increasing momentum, made possible by new funding from the Sorel Organization, ASCAP and  Wise Music Trust, demonstrates recognition amongst orchestras that new and inclusive approaches to programming are critical for future relevance. The Sphinx Organization kick-started this initiative with a generous contribution from the Sphinx Venture Fund.  

Learn more

Winner named in the Fifth Annual Claudette Sorel Piano Competition.

Claudette Sorel was a former child prodigy who encouraged the talents of young musicians throughout her career as a performer and educator. View the finals of the Fifth Annual Claudette Sorel Piano Competition for pianists, ages 15-18, produced by the Fredonia School of Music, where Claudette taught for many years and was the first woman to be named Distinguished University Professor in New York State's University System. The 2020 winner is revealed at the end of the broadcast.

Watch here. 

American Composers Forum Explores What the 19th Amendment Means for Women in Music in 2020

The American Composers Forum (ACF), in partnership with the media platform I CARE IF YOU LISTEN (ICIYL), has launched a new initiative called “UNEVEN MEASURES: Artists Reflect on the 19th Amendment in 2020.” The centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving white women the right to vote, provides an opportunity to celebrate this historic moment while highlighting the complexity of women’s suffrage and exclusion to participation, even in 2020. From August 18 (the ratification date) through the Presidential election on November 3, ACF and ICIYL are inviting artists to share what the 19th Amendment means to them through UNEVEN MEASURES, a series dedicated to advancing gender equity in 2020, and prioritizing racial equity.

Learn more.

A New Album Re-Creates the Work of the First Known Female Composers in America

Women have been contributing to America’s musical life for centuries. The album Voices in the Wilderness, featuring music by 18th-century female composers in Pennsylvania’s Ephrata Cloister, is due out in Spring 2021. 

Listen to NPR’s Morning Edition feature

Forte—A Film by David Donnelly, supported in part by The Sorel Organization, received its Washington DC premiere at The Kennedy Center on March 12, 2020.

Lucia Caruso, an Argentinian composer and pianist who lives in New York City, both stars in and scored the music for Forte, about three groundbreaking women in the arts.


Judy Cope

12.27.1958 - 9.18.2019

It is with heartfelt sadness that we share the news of the passing of Sorel Organization Executive Director Judy Cope on September 18, 2019 after a brave battle with brain cancer. Judy touched so many lives and careers through her spirited advocacy for women in music. The world is a dimmer place without her special light.

The Sorel Organization has established The Judy Cope Fund for Women in Music, with proceeds from the fund to further special projects in Judy’s memory. To contribute, click here.

Read Judy’s obituary in The New York Times.

Former Kid Piano Prodigy Emily Bear Returns to

The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The Sorel Organization provided a grant for Emily’s tuition for NYU's summer Screen Scoring Workshop when she was 10 years old, the youngest participant ever, by far. She has gone on to become a a Billboard best-selling jazz pianist, songwriter, and multi-genre composer.

watch the segment

Settling the Score: Women Conductors Talk About the Slow Road to Equality

Eight of the world’s 100 top conductors are now women, compared to just

one in 2013

Composer Lera Auerbach dedicates the premiere performances of her work “Eva's Complaint - O Flowers That Will Never Blossom” for Orchestra, co-commissioned by The Sorel Organization, to the life of Judy Cope.

New Sorel Classics Release:

Pianist Anna Shelest surveys music by women composers of the last three centuries in her new album ‘Donna Voce’

First Prize Winner of the Sorel Medallion in Choral Composition Dobrinka Tabakova announced BBC Concert Orchestra new Composer In Residence

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