photo: CatMax Photography

The Merian Ensemble is a chamber music group dedicated to promoting the standard of an inclusive repertoire. The group was formed in 2018 by five women musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, determined to counteract the striking dearth of women composers programmed in classical music settings. Even today, research shows that of 111 major orchestras across 31 countries, only 7.7% of works played were written by women. (Donne – Women in Music, 2022). Through their “Listen: Works by Women” initiatives, the Merian Ensemble performs the abundant repertoire of music by women and commissions a new work each year. In addition to traditional concerts, they give outreach performances for school-age children and presentations at libraries and public spaces throughout Atlanta. Their performances have been featured multiple times on NPR’s “Performance Today,” and they were a recipient of a travel grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International. To date, they have commissioned seven new works, with several more planned in the near future. The Merian Ensemble was supported by New Music USA’s Organizational Fund in 2023–2024.