NewMusicBox

Your home for the diverse and timely stories, news, opinions, and voices of new music creators and practitioners across the United States.

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Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Tod Machover: Technology and the Future of New Music

Tod Machover shares some of the extraordinary new musical interfaces he has been creating at the MIT Media Lab and explains how and why these new technologies will redefine music in the 21st century.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Describe your best and worst memories of premiere performances David Del Tredici, Composer

David Del Tredici Photo by Robin Holland courtesy Boosey & Hawkes Best: 1976 premiere of FINAL ALICE in Chicago with Solti conducting and Barbara Hendricks, soprano soloist. Because the piece was so tonal — long stretches in the purest D Major — I was terrified the piece would be ridiculed by the public, press and… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Describe your best and worst memories of premiere performances Tim Page, Former Classical Music Critic of the Washington Post

Tim Page Photo courtesy St. Louis Symphony Orchestra I’ll have to choose the world premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians — April 3, 1976 at Town Hall in New York — as the most influential concert I ever attended. It opened new sonic worlds to me and literally pushed me into criticism: I… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Describe your best and worst memories of premiere performances John Corigliano, Composer

John Corigliano Photo by Julian Kreeger courtesy G. Schirmer The best premiere I can remember is that of my CLARINET CONCERTO with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic and Stanley Drucker as the soloist. My father, who died in 1975 — two years before the premiere — was the concertmaster of the Philharmonic, and… Read more »

Articles
Andrew Druckenbrod

How American Are American Orchestras?

Andrew J. Druckenbrod photo by Allison Schlesinger The twentieth century will be viewed as a time in which composers expanded the range and possibilities of musical language and sound. But also as a period that saw a rift develop between new and old music, especially in the U.S. Here, orchestras delved into the pantheon of… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Soundtracks: September 1999

As the cost of making orchestral recordings in the United States continues to skyrocket, less than 15 recordings by the major American orchestras have been slated for studio time this year. Clearly, something must be done to make American orchestral recordings viable once again and the answer is in the recording of new American repertoire.… Read more »

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

The Orchestra in Contemporary American Musical Life

Frank J. Oteri Photo by Melissa Richard Is the orchestra a viable contemporary American institution? That’s a question that’s been on a lot of people’s minds both within and outside the orchestral music community as well as within the new music community which all too frequently has been treated like an opposition political party. There… Read more »

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Describe your best and worst memories of premiere performances

John Corigliano “The best premiere I can remember is that of my Clarinet Concerto with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic and Stanley Drucker as the soloist…” Tim Page “…I’d choose the first performance of the orchestral version of Reich’s Tehillim in 1981 as the “worst” premiere.” Laurel Ann Maurer “I premiered [Meyer Kupferman’s]… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

What do you expect to hear when someone says "American music?" David Nicholls, Professor of Music and Research Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Keele University, Staffordshire U.K.

David Nicholls Photo courtesy David Nicholls “Defining American Music” What do we mean by “American music?” From a millennial perspective, the answer is apparently simple: as America’s Music, the Cambridge History of American Music, and The New Grove Dictionary of American Music make manifestly clear, it is synonymous with inclusivity. From Barber to barbershop, Cage… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

What do you expect to hear when someone says "American music?" Howard Mandel, President of the Jazz Journalists Association

Howard Mandel Photo courtesy Howard Mandel America’s music is wide and wild, fed by hundreds of old and new musical strains. It starts with Native American chants, flutes, rhythms, North American colonies of the Spanish and French and Germans as well as the Pilgrims, in the community functions, dilletante artistry and diverse forms of entertainment,… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

What do you expect to hear when someone says "American music?" Judith Lang Zaimont, Composer

Judith Lang Zaimont Photo courtesy Judith Lang Zaimont What is ‘American music’? It reflects the vital, energized, young and action-oriented nation we are. In general it’s color-sensitive, edgy and, more often than not, pulsed — wickedly pulsed. It likes to take chances, and, as befits our polyglot national character, sometimes incorporates a staggering variety of… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

What do you expect to hear when someone says "American music?" Chen Yi, Composer

Chen Yi Photo by Jim Hair Since music is a universal language, music composition reflects the precipitation of a composer’s cultural and psychological construct, I think that all musical works composed in the States AND influenced by American culture are considered American music. The modern society, especially the American society, is like a great network… Read more »

Articles
Sid Whelan

The Unlimited Flavors of American Pie: How Immigration and Emigration have Shaped American Music

Sid Whelan Photo by MJ Sharpe What is American music? If, in answering that question, we start by discussing roots music (in my opinion a more appropriate term in the context of American culture than “folk” or ‘traditional”) such as bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, zydeco and rockabilly, and then move on to pop and popular… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Soundtracks: August 1999

We have tracked down new recordings of music by 65 American composers this month. As always, the variety is overwhelming. There are three new MMC anthologies of orchestral music featuring works by 21 composers proving that the orchestra continues to be a source of inspiration for composers with a wide variety of stylistic inclinations ranging… Read more »

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

What is American Music?

Frank J. Oteri Photo by Melissa Richard America is a land of immigrants and the culture of America has been formed and reshaped time and time again by the immigrants whose traditions get introduced here and then morphed into something completely new. When we speak of an “American tradition,” it is almost an oxymoron because… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

What do you expect to hear when someone says "American music?"

Chen Yi “I think that all musical works composed in the States AND influenced by American culture are considered American music.” Judith Lang Zaimont “In a very real sense, it is the lifeblood of our country expressed in sound.” Howard Mandel “America’s music is wide and wild, fed by hundreds of old and new musical… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Memorable outdoor premieres you've heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Joseph Dalton, Executive Director, Composers Recordings Inc. (CRI)

Joseph Dalton Photo by Dorothy Alexander Collecting composers’ autographs used to be a hobby of mine. In my youth it was an early indicator of my future profession. It also got me to attend (and sometimes to endure) all manner of musical happenings, and allowed me to meet some wonderful figures, some of whom are… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Memorable outdoor premieres you've heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Marilyn Nonken, Pianist

Marilyn Nonken by Sara Press A few years ago, I stumbled into a Henry Brant premiere taking place outdoors at Lincoln Center: a work written to commemorate Columbus’s discovery of America. Various ensembles were playing around the plaza: jazz band, orchestra, maybe a sax quartet or mariachi ensemble. Honestly, no matter where I went, I… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Memorable outdoor premieres you've heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Michael Torke, Composer

Michael Torke Photo by Vivianne Purdom, courtesy Decca I remember a concert at the Tanglewood Music Center that had both David Del Tredici’s “Happy Voices” (from Child Alice) and John Adams’s Harmonielehre on the same program! This was the summer of 1984, fresh after Paul Fromm made public his criticisms of the ’70s kind of… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Memorable outdoor premieres you've heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Greg Sandow, Composer & Music Journalist

Greg Sandow Photo courtesy Greg Sandow Was it an outdoor experience? I’m not sure, and who cares? But when I was new music critic for the Village Voice in the ’80s, I remember being invited to a private event, somebody playing his sax in an abandoned building in the East Village. This was magical, the… Read more »

Articles
Mic Holwin

Looking For Red, White and Blue Between Bach, Beethoven And Brahms: Can American Music Be Found at American Music Festivals?

Mic Holwin photo by Lost In Brooklyn Studio Music festivals in America take on added pleasure in the summer, when a concertgoer can claim a spot on the lawn surrounding a stage, spread out a quilt handed down from an aunt in Pennsylvania, uncork a bottle of California Zinfandel, slice some Vermont Cheddar and Wisconsin… Read more »

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NewMusicBox Staff

Soundtracks: July 1999

For our third issue of NewMusicBox, we have expanded the scope of SoundTracks. In addition to featuring the cover and complete track information for all new recordings of American music that we can get our hands on, we are also featuring sound samples of every recording. So rather than hearing us rave about one of… Read more »

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

How Festivals can Attract New Audiences to American Music

Frank J. Oteri Photo by Melissa Richard Five years ago some friends of mine drove me down to a bluegrass festival in Stumptown, West Virginia — a more than 10 hour journey from New York City which was more time than I’ve ever spent in a car in my whole life being the die-hard urbanite!… Read more »

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Memorable outdoor premieres you've heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music

Greg Sandow “Was it an outdoor experience? I’m not sure, and who cares?…” Michael Torke “I remember a concert at the Tanglewood Music Center that had both David Del Tredici’s “Happy Voices” (from Child Alice) and John Adams’s Harmonielehre on the same program!” Marilyn Nonken “…the sight of Brant –headgear, jumpsuit, etc.– will always stick… Read more »