NEA Awards NHSO $20,000 for Lash/Voynich Project

Tuesday • December 8, 2015

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) is proud to announce that it is a recipient of a $20,000 Art Works Grant from
the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NHSO has received this award in response to its ground-breaking Lash/Voynich Project.

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is an independent federal agency that funds, Why Donate2promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of communities by providing Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. Today, the NEA announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $20,000 to the NHSO’s Lash/Voynich Project. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the NHSO’s Lash/Voynich Project offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

“A cornerstone of our vibrant arts community, as they celebrate their 122nd year, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra continues to bring beautiful and innovative performances to our community. The Lash/Voynich Project is yet another of their extraordinary contributions and this NEA award is further testament to all of their good work.”  said Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3). “I am proud to extend my sincere congratulations to all of those at NHSO who have made this project possible.”

About the Lash/Voynich Project
The New Haven Symphony Orchestra has embarked on a two-year journey with Hannah Lash, the NHSO’s Composer-in-Residence, as she writes the most monumental work of her career thus far– a complete Symphony based on the mysterious Voynich Manuscript housed in Yale’s Beinecke Library. The NHSO will premiere each of the Symphony’s four movements over the course of two seasons. The first movement, “Herbal,” was premiered on October 1, 2015 at Woolsey Hall in New Haven, CT; the second movement, “Astronomical,” will be premiered on May 19, 2016. The third movement, “Biological,” will be premiered in the Fall of 2016 and the entire Symphony, including the fourth movement, “Cosmological,” will be performed in the Spring of 2017.

The Lash/Voynich Project’s defining feature is the involvement and partnership of the Greater New Haven community and music lovers connected electronically across the globe in the working process and creation of this commission. Throughout the composition process, Lash will write and video blog about her progress on the piece and walk all of us through the creation of this brand-new work. To read more about the project and to follow along with Lash’s composition process, visit and follow on social media using #LashVoynichProject.

About the NHSO
In 2015 – 2016, its 122nd season in operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra continues to fulfill its mission of increasing the impact and value of orchestral music for its audiences through high quality, affordable performances and educational programming. The NHSO presents more than 55 concerts per season throughout the region and reaches more than 30,000 students through its award-winning educational and community programming. For more information, visit

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

The Lash/Voynich Project receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy.