Listen: Works By Women

Promoting the

Standard of an 

Inclusive Repertoire

Supporting Women in Classical Music

In 2018, five women of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra came together to address the gender imbalance in classical standard repertoire. Through our “Listen: Works by Women” initiatives, the Merian Ensemble performs the abundant repertoire of music composed by women and commissions a new work each year. In addition to traditional concerts, we give outreach performances for school-age children and presentations at libraries and public spaces throughout Atlanta and beyond. Our debut album recording our commissions to-date will be released by PARMA Records in late summer 2024.

Research shows that of 111 major orchestras across 31 countries, only 7.7% of works played were written by women.

With our name, the Merian Ensemble honors the genius of Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717), a brilliant scientist and artist who created intricately beautiful drawings in order to examine and illuminate the tiniest details of metamorphosis. Her work, which preceded that of Linnaeus and Darwin, exhibits the same qualities of intellectual rigor and discovery, but enjoyed a fraction of the contemporary acclaim or celebrated legacy. Her story fuels our passion for bringing obscured compositions to light, and our determination to celebrate the women composing today.


Maria Sybilla Merian

Our Repertoire


Debuts august 2nd, 2024

Album Release

The Merian Ensemble welcomes its debut recording, The Book of Spells, out from Navona Records on August 2, 2024. Comprised entirely of world premiere recordings, featuring works by Clarice AssadNicole ChamberlainJennifer HigdonMary KouyoumdjianAnne Leilehua Lanzilotti, Soon Hee NewboldKimberly R. Osberg, and Lynne Plowman,  each but one commissioned by the Merian Ensemble, The Book of Spells documents our work to elevate and amplify women’s voices in classical music.

Works by Women 2019

Clara Schumann: Three Romances

Katherine Hoover: My Days Have Been So Wondrously Free

Augusta Read Thomas: Hummingbird Romance

Mary Kouyoumdjian: A Boy and a Makeshift Toy

Alyssa Morris: Chrysalis

Works by Women 2021
“American Music for Today and Tomorrow”

Clarice Assad: The Book of Spells *

Mary Kouyoumdjian: A Boy and a Makeshift Toy

Reena Esmail: Jhula Jhule

Polina Nazaykinskaya: Lamentation of the Bird

Kimberly Osberg: Just Another Climb*

 *Merian commission, world premiere

Works by Women 2022
“Journeys Home”

Rebecca Clarke: Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale

Mel Bonis: Scènes de la Forêt

Nicole Chamberlain: Atalanta*

Allison Loggins-Hull: Homeland

Jessie Montgomery: Peace

Grace Williams: Can Ramantus

Julia Gomelskaya: the hint only

Lynne Plowman: Small World *

*Merian commission, world premiere

Works by Women 2023

Lawren Brianna Ware: Recollection and Anticipation

Yuko Uébayashi: Sonata “Flore”

Florence Price: Deserted Garden

Lili Boulanger: Reflets

Lynne Plowman: floating, turning, spinning

Leilehua Lanzilotti: meridian *

Jennifer Higdon: The Sound of Light *

*Merian commission, world premiere

Works by Women 2024
“Myth and Nature”

Clarice Assad: The Book of Spells

Amy Beach: Berceuse

Ruth Gipps: Sea-shore Suite

Danielle Eva Schwob: Breathing Underwater

Jennifer Higdon: The Sound of Light

Leilehua Lanzilotti: meridian

Soon Hee Newbold: Alis Volat Propriis *

*Merian commission, world premiere

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The Merian Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions are tax-deductible and allow us to commission female composers and perform their amazing works for audiences across the nation. As a musician-run ensemble, we rely solely on donations and sponsors.


Venmo handle: @TheMerianEnsemble


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