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Miller announces Season Two of Mission: Commission



Season Two

The much-praised reality podcast, first produced during the pandemic lockdown, follows a new group of composers across a six-week timeline, demystifying the process of how classical music gets made:


as they create new works for the exceptional


(Soper joins as vocalist/narrator for her new work, and Iyer joins on piano for his new quintet)

Hosted by Melissa Smey, Executive Director of Miller Theatre

Miller Theatre at Columbia University's mission to create new works takes center stage as Miller announces Season Two of its podcast Mission: Commission, launching in April 2022. The new season will feature all new composers, new musicians, the same brilliant production team, and the same six-week timeline.

"Presenting newly commissioned pieces by a broad range of living composers has always been fundamental to the programming philosophy at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre. Now a new podcast, 'Mission: Commission,' illuminates the evolution of three such works, from conception to fruition."  — The New Yorker

The six-episode, free weekly podcast aims to demystify the process of how classical music gets made, lifting the curtain to reveal the inner lives of three strikingly different composers as they create vibrant works of new music in just six weeks. This season's composers have each been the subject of a Composer Portrait at Miller: Oscar Bettison, Vijay Iyer, and Kate Soper. 

In a new twist for Season Two, all three composers will write for the same ensemble: the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet, called “something extraordinary” by The New York Times. Vijay Iyer's quintet will feature himself on piano, and Kate Soper will join as vocalist/narrator for her work.

"This is a brilliant idea, its intention to demystify 'how composers compose'." 
— The Sunday Times (UK)

As in Season One, the composers check in weekly with podcast host Melissa Smey to discuss their processes along the way. Listeners will get a rare inside look as an artist creates—from the blank page to inspiration, risk-taking, roadblocks, and hard work, to the finished product. Recordings of the final pieces will be shared at the conclusion of the podcast.


Episode 1: The Composers
Episode 2: Dear Diary
Episode 3: What even is form?
Episode 4: Answering the Call
Episode 5: Blu Tack, Growls, and M&Ms


About Mission: Commission

Mission: Commission was born after the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020 when Miller Theatre's in-person programming was on pause. Melissa Smey was determined to create opportunities for composers and musicians during the worst months of the pandemic. She and her team threw themselves into digital innovations, most notably Mission: Commission. Produced by seasoned podcast showrunner, audio producer, and journalist Golda Arthur and hosted by Smey, Season One featured composers Marcos Balter, Courtney Bryan, and Augusta Read Thomas and is available anywhere podcasts are available (click here to listen).

Listen to KMFA's Staccato and Trilloquy speak with  the creators of Mission: Commission in 2021

iTunes Top 25 Podcasts in Music (April 2021)

Listen to Mission: Commission - Season One

Available for free wherever you get your podcasts


Visit MissionCommissionPodcast.com for updates.

Read the full press release here.

Mission: Commission is a production of Miller Theatre at Columbia University