New Music USA collaborates with Yale Library to ensure the digitization and preservation of more than 250 NewMusic Box interviews with leading composers

Written By

Kate Dreyfuss

The library will provide free online access to the collection

New Music USA continues to host all NewMusicBox content created since 1999 on its website at

New Music USA—the leading national resource dedicated to advancing new music in all its forms—announces it has licensed to Yale University Library more than 250 video interviews with U.S. composers created by New Music USA’s multi-media web publication NewMusicBox, between 1999 and 2020. NewMusicBox was the first online platform to exclusively cover music creators and practitioners across the U.S.

Yale Library will digitize and digitally preserve the interviews in its Oral History of American Music collection and make the interviews freely available online for researchers and the public. Read the Yale Library announcement. 

NewMusicBox provides a window into the world of new music through artist-authored content including in-depth articles, analysis, interviews, industry news, commentary, how-to’s, snapshots of music cities and more. It was launched in 1999 at the American Music Center as the first-of-its-kind multimedia web publication, and has been a program of New Music USA since the merger of American Music Center and Meet the Composer in 2011. Many talented editors have worked on NewMusicBox across the years including composer Frank J. Oteri, who stepped down recently after nearly 24 years at the helm. New Music USA will continue to host all NewMusicBox content created since 1999 on its website as it reimagines the future of this essential resource and how it can best serve the new music community for years to come. 

The collection of NewMusicBox materials acquired by Yale Library consists of 253 artist profiles (full, in-depth interviews), 104 spotlights (shorter interviews), and 6 monologues (public addresses made directly by the composer) featuring many of America’s most significant creators of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe (who were the first composers to be interviewed in 1999), Tania León (1999), Elliott Carter (2000), Pauline Oliveros (2000), Carla Bley (2003), David Del Tredici (2003), Gabriela Lena Frank (2008), Tyshawn Sorey (2019), and many more.

Using Aviary, OHAM’s AV access system, users and the public can already access 108 NewMusicBox interviews from an earlier acquisition; the remainder will be published when fully digitized and processed, no later than 2026. Non-Yale patrons can create a free  Aviary  account via the Login button to gain streaming access to the interviews. See instructions for accessing OHAM interviews. 

“NewMusicBox has played an indispensable role in American music history by capturing extensive conversations with U.S. composers for over two decades,” said Vanessa Reed, President and CEO of New Music USA. “We are incredibly grateful that Yale Library, as a leader in digital preservation, will formally archive these interviews and make them more widely available as the valuable resources and time-capsules they are. We have spent the last few months reflecting on the importance of NewMusicBox as a national resource for creators and practitioners and envisioning its future as part of the thriving and connected new music community we are working to build across the U.S. This is an opportune time to also celebrate its past and protect it in perpetuity.”   

The acquisition project is made possible by special funding from the Amphion Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. 

Former editor Frank J. Oteri (left) interviews Bang on a Can founders and composers David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Gordon (middle, from left) for the first-ever NewMusicBox interview in 1999. This video interview is part of the NewMusicBox collection now archived and accessible for free via Yale Library’s Oral History of American Music. 

About New Music USA  

New Music USA is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing new music in all its forms. Our mission is to nurture a vibrant and inclusive community for artists and listeners by supporting the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music throughout the United States. Through responsive grant-making; skill-building; mentorship and convenings for creators from all backgrounds; and platforms designed to connect music-makers with organizations and their audiences, New Music USA works to ensure a thriving, connected, and equitable ecosystem for the music of our time.

For more information about this collaboration between New Music USA and Yale Library, please reach out to Kate Dreyfuss, Communications Director at New Music USA, at [email protected].

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