Solange Becomes the First Black Woman to Compose Score for New York City Ballet

Solange Knowles has composed a score for the New York City Ballet, becoming the first Black woman to do so. The Grammy winner announced the news on Instagram on Tuesday (Aug. 16) afternoon. 

She wrote, “Very excited to announce i’ve composed an original score for the New York City Ballet 🖤 choreography by Gianna Reisen, score performed by the City Ballet Orchestra and soloist from my ensemble 🖤.” 

The untitled score will debut at the New York City Ballet’s upcoming Fall Fashion Gala, which takes place on Sept. 28. The 10th-anniversary event is set to be a night of dance and design. Solange’s musical art will soundtrack a world debut by Reisen in combination with costumes from Alejandro Gómez Palomo for Palomo Spain. Other performances and first showings will happen.

She’ll have encore presentations of the score at subsequent fall shows at Lincoln Center, including Oct. 1, 8, 11 and 16. The musical arrangement will return May 2, 2023, with four other previews that month.

Solange is familiar with scores. In November 2020, she was selected to score the “You Love Me” advertisement for Beats by Dr. Dre. The two-minute ad was narrated by Tobe Nwigwe and starred Naomi Osaka, Lil Baby, Bubba Wallace, and Janaya Khan. It amassed over 22 million views since its premiere. 

Just before that job, Solange was honored with the inaugural Lena Horne Prize. She accepted the award for using her influence to create social impact to foster the same for the next generation. 

It’s been three years since Solange released an album. Her last album, When I Get Home, arrived on March 1, 2019. It was the follow-up to Solange’s acclaimed A Seat at the Table.

When I Get Home was supported with visuals for the songs “Almeda,” “Binz,” and “Way to the Show.” The album eventually placed No. 6 on Rated R&B’s 30 Best R&B Albums of 2019 list. In the blurb, Rated R&B’s Antwane Folk called When I Get Home an intriguing project” and praised its “tight songwriting, lush musical arrangements, and beautiful vocal stylings.”

R&B

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