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Articles
Libby Larsen

Brilliant, Funny, and Fueled by Passion—Remembering Dominick Argento (1927-2019)

Dominick Argento’s name was never on the programs at Big Reggie’s Danceland, but at the time it seemed that in the season of every other major performing arts organization, there he was!  Not only did we hear his music, but he was always in the audience, listening, talking with people, part of the same world he was addressing with his music.

Articles
Robinson McClellan

Let’s Grow Art Organically in Small Batches

As a composer of contemporary concert music, I feel out of touch with that core, person-to-person interaction. I write to fulfill commissions, but often I am still not quite sure who exactly, which specific human beings, I am writing for.

The ID page from Lazare Saminsky's passport showing his photo, country of origin (Russia) and stamps from Jerusalem
Articles
Alex Weiser

Yiddish Classical Music in America

Motivated by a mixture of philosemitic encouragement to explore their Jewish identity, as well as antisemitic discouragement that kept them from feeling fully Russian, Jewish students of the St. Petersburg conservatory banded together in 1908 to create what became known as the The Society for Jewish Folk Music. The Society and the international network of sister organizations and publishing houses it created nurtured a group of fascinating composers, many of whom emigrated to the United States where they integrated into American musical culture with some notable successes.

Back to school
Articles
Olivia Kieffer

Playing the Changes: The Transition from Professor to Student (My First Year as a Composition Major)

“I could never go back to school after teaching,” said many wonderful professors who used to be my colleagues. So why did I do it?

Jeffrey Mumford
Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Jeffrey Mumford: Creating a Different World

Jeffrey Mumford started off pursuing a career in the visual arts before music took over his imagination, but his lifelong obsession with clouds translated over from painting into musical composition.

Articles
Nebal Maysaud

It’s Time to Let Classical Music Die

There comes a point in some abusive relationships where the victim wakes up out of their Stockholm syndrome and learns that they need to plan an escape. My fellow musicians of color: it is time to accept that we are in an abusive relationship with classical music.

Some of the 2019 Paul Revere award winning sheet music publications on display on a table in the back of the room during the 2019 Music Publishers Association's annual membership meeting.
Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Pondering New Digital Distribution Models and the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence—MPA 2019

The 2019 meeting of the Music Publishers Association, which took place last week in New York City, was a combination of reminiscences of the past and planning for the future, both in terms of legal issues and technology.

André Previn and David Fetherolf in Previn's home
Articles
David Fetherolf

An Unassuming Musical Polymath with Great Curiosity and Knowledge—Remembering André Previn (1929-2019)

André Previn died before completing his final commission and, since his death, I’ve been absorbed in realizing it for the premiere at Tanglewood on August 3 of this year. The work is a monodrama about Homer’s Penelope, with text written by Tom Stoppard and a surprise actor in a speaking role. Commissioned by The Boston Symphony… Read more »

An historic drawing of a group of five Aleppo musicians performing on (from left to right) a daff, a saz, a ney, a kamancheh, and a pair of naqqāra
Articles
Nebal Maysaud

I’m Learning Middle Eastern Music the Wrong Way

If it weren’t for colonization, I would be studying my own culture’s music. And would probably have more success as an artist. So I took my Bachelors of Music degree and set out on my next journey: to learn the musical tradition of my own people.

Mic check
Articles
Dave Molk

Programming for Justice

The disparity in representation within new music is a longstanding and well-documented problem. We know this. What then holds us back? Why does disparity in representation remain such a problem?

Collaboration
Articles
Danielle Eva Schwob

Structure and Freedom in Collaboration (A.k.a. The Incomplete Non-Idiot’s Guide to Workshopping with Musicians)

A.k.a. the incomplete non-idiot’s guide to workshopping with musicians

A 2018 photograph of a Nahat Oud
Articles
Nebal Maysaud

Escaping the Mold of Oriental Fantasy

My experience as a queer Lebanese composer made me unique. I had the opportunity to authentically represent my culture through music. As I grew older, I realized that the spots for Middle Eastern representation has been filled for a while. But not by the hundreds of Middle Eastern and North African composers and artists. Instead, our stories were being controlled, and even monopolized, by white composers.

Articles
Nebal Maysaud

Am I Not a Minority?

Contemporary classical music is a field overrun with socially conscious and politically liberal musicians. So why are there so few composers of color? While white minority composers see progress, people of color are left behind.

Melissa Dunphy at home
Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Melissa Dunphy: Composing Has To Be a Calling

Melissa Dunphy frequently creates music which is inspired by current events. What is striking about her music is how deeply it relates to her ideas about social justice and inclusivity.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

A Week of New Music Celebrations: the BMI Student Composer Awards, the Ceremonial & the Underwood Readings

The close proximity of the BMI Student Composer Awards, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial, and the American Composers Orchestra’s Underwood New Music Readings, which have all taken place in New York City this week, have turned the penultimately week of May into a multi-day celebration of new music.

Articles
Dale Trumbore

Don't Wait Until You Hear Sirens

In a few weeks, Dale Trumbore is publishing a book about anxiety in the creative process—Staying Composed: Overcoming Anxiety and Self-Doubt Within a Creative Life. In advance, she shares her own journey toward listening to her mind and body and learning to ask for help when she needs it.

IMAGE: Cristina Gottardi
Articles
Daniel Temkin

Ethical Artistry: Does Any of This Really Matter? If So, What Practical Steps Can I Take?

The change we seek in our new music ecosystem isn’t going to occur by spouting off in anger on a Facebook thread. We have to take this passion and conviction we feel, and carry it through with real-world projects that directly engage others.

Articles
aaron irwin

Music Unbound

When Aaron Irwin began studying music, a clear line was drawn between jazz and classical. Yet today, they are meeting on an ever-widening aesthetic middle ground. Irwin explores the work of a few composers sharing in this communion of styles.

Image: Immo Wegmann
Articles
Daniel Temkin

Ethical Artistry: Changing our Approach & Evaluating our Efforts

Many of us care about ethical artistry, but how do we measure our efforts? And how do we balance competing demands? This week, Dan Temkin digs into some general tenets and tools that can aid us in evaluating our work.

Articles
Danielle Eva Schwob

Jack of All Trades or Master of Them All? Cross-Genre Creative Gambling

In the earliest days of her career, Danielle Eva Schwob was told to specialize. She never did.

Lisa Neher
Articles
Adam Schumaker

Artist Financial Profile: Dr. Lisa Neher, Composer & Performer

Adam Schumaker is back with another case study of a musician’s income—the next small chapter in an evolving theoretical Guide to Musician Finances. This time he speaks with Lisa Neher, a composer and performer, about the money taboo, the musician’s eternal hustle, realistically “making it,” adjunct teaching, and the ins and outs of working with your PRO.

Articles
Daniel Temkin

Ethical Artistry: Falling Short—Logistics, Programming, and the Moral Complexity of Well-Intentioned Decisions

As a musical community, we strive to promote positive virtues in our work, yet clearly problems persist. So why do we fall short? Dan Temkin is back this week to expose the ethical pitfalls lurking behind decisions we frequently face.

Articles
Danielle Eva Schwob

Do it right or do it right now?

In a creative project, the quest for quality development and preparation eventually meets the question of when exactly to pull the trigger. Danielle Schwob shares her experiences navigating that challenging line.

Research on Contemporary Composition Conference
Articles
Esther Morgan-Ellis

Teaching the Music of Now: A Mission, a Project, and a Conference

A survey course can easily convey the impression that “great” music is a finite resource generated by a handful of genius composers. When students become researchers, however, the picture changes.

Funders

ASCAP Foundation Logo

NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation.

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NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.

NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation. NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.