Daugherty is best known for his idiosyncratic pop-culture themes: his Metropolis Symphony was based on Superman comic books, and his opera Jackie O depicts Jacqueline Onassis. Other objects of his tributes include Liberace, Elvis Presley, and J. Edgar Hoover.
He has composed works for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet, among others.
The new work will feature pianist Terrence Wilson, who performed with the Charlotte Symphony last spring and who suggested the idea of commissioning a new work by Daugherty.
The orchestra has struggled with deficits from its past two seasons, but according to the Observer, Richard Early, the orchestra's president, finds the McColl Award to be "great news," and Gale Mahood, the orchestra's artistic administrator, hopes it will help attract other orchestras to the Charlotte Symphony's anniversary project.