Tim Young, Scott Faulkner, Zhou Tian & Laura Jackson explore the train tunnels in Truckee, CA.
Tim Young, Scott Faulkner, Zhou Tian & Laura Jackson explore the train tunnels in Truckee, CA.


CONNECTING OUR NATION: A musical celebration of the Transcontinental Railroad

In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2019, which corresponds with the 150th celebration of the Transcontinental Railroad’s completion, the Reno Philharmonic Association is leading a consortium to commission Grammy-nominated composer Zhou Tian to write an orchestral work.

From our nation’s post-Civil War healing and recovery to the plight of migrant railroad builders to the opening of the West to the very creation of the city of Reno, the Transcontinental Railroad is a trove of themes, which are as a timely today as they were in 1869.

The growing list of participating orchestras includes the Omaha Symphony (home of one TRR terminus), the Utah Symphony (home of the Golden Spike completion at Promontory Point), and the Michigan State University Symphony. We are looking for more orchestras of all budget sizes and geographic locations to join our consortium to help bring this important composition to life.  The Reno Phil will give the world premiere of this piece in April 2019, and the consortium orchestras will perform the work in an exclusive window after that.

If you or an orchestra you know is interested in signing on or getting more information, please contact consortium project manager Scott Faulkner ( faulkner1968@gmail.com ).

We hope that you will join us in celebrating the Phil’s 50th and this important project!


About Composer in Residence
Zhou Tian [JOH TEE-en]
Nominee of the 2018 GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian(JOH TEE-en; Zhou is his last name) writes music that is described as “absolutely beautiful” and “utterly satisfying” (Fanfare), and “a prime example of 21st-century global multiculturalism.” Born in 1981, Zhou came of age in a new China marked by economic reforms, and was in the United States by his 20th birthday. Trained at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, New York’s Juilliard School and the University of Southern California, he studied with some of America’s finest composers, such as Jennifer Higdon and Christopher Rouse. His music has been performed by leading orchestras and performers in the United States and abroad, such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, pianist Yuja Wang, and the Empire Brass. His recent works include the Grammy-nominated Concerto for Orchestra, premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony and Louis Langrée; The Grand Canal, performed during a nationally televised concert of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China; Petals of Fire, premiered at 2017 CBDNA National Convention; and Cello Concerto, premiered by Deutsche Grammophon Artist Jian Wang. He taught at Colgate University since 2011 and is currently on faculty at Michigan State University College of Music. Visit ZhouTianMusic.com for more.