Tag: New Music USA

New Music USA Announces More Than $1.2M in New Grants

New Music USANew Music USA has announced more than $1,200,000 in new awards made during the spring season through its grantmaking programs. These awards will empower composers working with orchestras, dance companies, and communities to take brave leaps into the unknown, and provide the crucial operating support that small, transformative organizations need to keep pushing the new music field forward.

Through Music Alive, a partnership between New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras, approximately $900,000 has been awarded to five proposals based in Albany NY, Dayton OH, Detroit MI, Orange County CA and Seattle WA. Through Live Music for Dance, which provides grants to New York City and New Jersey-based professional dance companies for collaborative projects involving a composer and/or musicians, over $150,000 has been awarded to twenty dance companies in support of dance projects incorporating the use of live American music. Through the Cary New Music Performance Fund, which provides general operating support to professional music organizations that are deeply committed to presenting, performing, commissioning and recording new music in the five boroughs of New York City, an additional $148,000 in total has been awarded to 36 organizations. Finally, through the Composer Assistance Program, which accepted applications from composers all over the country to help support preparations and travel expenses for premieres of their new work, over $33,000 was awarded to 28 composers. There is a complete list of awardees on the New Music USA website.

In fall 2013, New Music USA is reconfiguring five of its existing grantmaking programs (Commissioning Music: USA, Composer Assistance Program, Composer Assistance Program – Recording, Creative Connections, and Live Music for Dance) into a unified channel of support for a wide range of new music projects. Awarded projects will be promoted on newmusicusa.org and offer a new way for the public to connect with artists.

(—from the press release)

April 2013 Composer Assistance Program Awardees Announced

New Music USA has announced grant awards totaling $33,245 to 28 composers through the April 2013 round of the Composer Assistance Program (CAP). The grants are intended to help composers take full advantage of performance opportunities that will enhance their careers. The ensembles and organizations premiering or featuring public readings in this round’s CAP-supported works include: Jonathan Biss and the Elias String Quartet, the Los Angeles Dance Project, Talea Emsemble, New York Youth Symphony First Music Program, and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.

The Composer Assistance Program will be part of New Music USA’s new approach to supporting new music, a reconfiguration of five preexisting grant programs into one, comprehensive program. Through this new strategy, composers—alongside organizations, presenters, and musicians—will be able to apply for an even wider range of activity to help realize their envisioned artistic endeavors.

The April 2013 CAP awardees are:
Timothy Andres
Gustavo Casenave
Christopher Cerrone
Alan Chan
Anthony Cheung
Gene Coleman
David Coll
Paul Dooley</a
Ryan Edwards
Keith Fitch
Michael-Thomas Foumai
Geoffrey Gordon
Christopher Jentsch
Ben Johnston
Michael Gilbertson
Amy Beth Kirsten
Angel Lam
Hugh Livingston
Michelle Lou
Peri Mauer
Jeffrey Nytch
Kala Pierson
Judith Sante Croix
Daniel Sonenberg
Seth Stewart
Alex Weiser
Conrad Winslow
Scott Wollschleger
For more details, visit the
CAP Awards announcement on the New Music USA site.

New Music USA Awardees Celebrated at the New Museum

William Kraft & JLA

William Kraft (left) and John Luther Adams (right) were among the recipients of New Music USA’s 2013 Letters of Distinction
Photo by Matthew Bologna

Meredith Monk, John Luther Adams, Anthony Braxton, John Kander, William Kraft, Pacific Serenades, the JACK Quartet, and the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composers Apprentice Project were honored by New Music USA during a private ceremony at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City on May 13, 2013. These awards, which were initially announced on October 29, 2012, continue the tradition of the American Music Center’s annual awards, originally established in 1964, for champions in the field of new American music.

2013 New Music USA Awards

Former classmates William Kraft (front left) and John Kander (front right) reconnect at the 2013 New Music USA Awards Ceremony as ASCAP’s Fran Richard and Meredith Monk (back left) look on.
Photo by Matthew Bologna

Braxton, Kander, Adams, Kraft, and Pacific Serenades were recognized with Letters of Distinction. This award acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary American music. Recipients over the last six decades have included Laurie Anderson, Leonard Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, John Cage, Dizzy Gillespie, William Schuman, Stephen Sondheim, Cecil Taylor, Virgil Thomson, Joan Tower, Dawn Upshaw, La Monte Young, the American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Kronos Quartet, the Modern Jazz Quartet, New World Records, and radio station KPFA in Berkeley.

Meredith Monk Founders Award

Meredith Monk accepting the 2013 New Music USA’s Founders Award
Photo by Matthew Bologna

Meredith Monk received the 2013 Founders Award. This award, which was established in 1999, is reserved for previous Letter of Distinction recipients to celebrate lifetime achievement in the field of new American music. Previous recipients include Elliott Carter, John Duffy, Philip Glass, John Harbison, Lou Harrison, Milton Babbitt, Gunther Schuller, and Steve Reich.

The Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composers Apprentice Project received the New Music Educator Award, an award established in 2006 which honors conductors, professors, lecturers, academics, and others who have made important contributions in the realm of education, and who might not always be well known to the rest of the new music community. Previous recipients of the award include musicologist Charles Hamm, the New World Symphony, and the Walden School. Finally, the JACK Quartet received the Trailblazer Award. Instituted in 2003, the award honors those deserving of commendation and support for their early and mid-career efforts in championing new music. Previous awardees include Derek Bermel, Matt Haimovitz, eighth blackbird, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and So Percussion.

Braxton Proxy

Taylor Ho Bynum with Anthony Braxton’s Letter of Distinction
Photo by Matthew Bologna

All of the 2013 awardees were in attendance during the ceremony with the exception of Anthony Braxton whose award was accepted on his behalf by composer Taylor Ho Bynum, the executive director of Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation. In addition to the presentation of the awards, the ceremony included a screening of a short video about New Music USA and music by Meredith Monk performed by members of The M6 alongside members of Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble. In addition, Face The Music, a NYC-based youth ensemble under the direction of Jenny Undercofler which is devoted exclusively to the performance of contemporary music, played work by Julia Wolfe and FTM ensemble member Ethan Cohn, who also led a jazz trio comprised of FTM members during the reception following the ceremony. For more photos from the event, please see New Music USA’s Flickr page.

Face The Music Jazz Group

Music for the reception following the 2013 New Music USA Awards was provided by the Face The Music Jazz Group
Photo by Matthew Bologna

NewMusicBox Mix 4: 2012 Staff Picks

NewMusicBox Mix 4: 2012 Staff PicksTo finish out 2012 with a bang, the intrepid New Music USA staff has chosen some of their favorite tracks from the past twelve months for this edition of the NewMusicBox Mix. Directly below you will find a link to download a folder containing all of the mix tracks. In addition, each track is streamed separately on this page, with information about the recordings and purchasing links to encourage further exploration and continued listening.

These artists have very generously donated their tracks to this project, and we encourage you to support them by purchasing their albums and letting them know if you enjoy what you hear!

Happy Holidays to all!—AG


DOWNLOAD NewMusicBox Mix 4: 2012 Staff Picks


One: Chamber Music of Kurt Rohde

Kurt Rohde, Concertino for Violin and Small Ensemble
Movement I. moto

Performed by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

I like the sinewy energy of this movement, the surprising bits of beauty without narcissistic preening, the overall sense of a score assembled with maximum skill and economy—and a cast of solo and ensemble artists performing it all on this track with matching care and virtuosity. —Ed Harsh, President and CEO


Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe

Laurie Spiegel, Appalachian Grove I
The Expanding Universe
Unseen Worlds


I chose this iconic track not only because Spiegel’s minimalist and analog electronic process and ambient aesthetic resonates deeply with my own, but also because this history is extremely interesting and an influence on much of the music I hear being created today. —Lorna Krier, Program Manager


Jenny Scheinman: Mischief and Mayhem

Jenny Scheinman, Blues For The Double Vee
Mischief and Mayhem

Order directly from artist


Jenny continues to inspire me with her ability to personalize diverse musical forms and idioms. In this track, Jenny invents a blues tune inspired by the great musicians who played the Village Vanguard (hence “Double Vee”) in its heyday, but that’s just her point of departure. With the backup of guitarist Nels Cline’s jazz-influenced rocking, Jenny explores a broad range of the violin’s harmonic and textural possibilities all in the space of 3:57. It’s quite a ride! —Ethan Joseph, Development and Administrative Assistant


Roomful of Teeth

William Brittelle, Amid the Minotaurs
Performed by Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth
New Amsterdam


I first heard this piece on the group’s Kickstarter video. The whole album is great, and it’s definitely about time we had a killer vocal group like this. I come out of choral music, and I’m so excited to get edgy vocal music on this level. The piece pulls together different vocal techniques in a bunch of different sections, and makes me want to go back and write more choral music. Play the section 4:48 to 6:30 on repeat when you need to feel awesome. —Kevin Clark, Communications Manager


Wet Ink Ensemble: Relay

Eric Wubbels, katachi: Etude I-II
Performed by Wet Ink Ensemble
Carrier Records

Order directly


I’m drawn to the piece’s color, textures, and shifting timbral elements. —Scott Winship, Director of Grantmaking Programs


Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth!

Kate Bush, watching you without me
Performed by Theo Bleckmann
Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush
Winter & Winter


Amazing storytelling from both songwriter and performer. 1 + 1 = 3. —Edward Ficklin, IT Projects Manager


Alex Kotch: Alleys of Your Mind

Alex Kotch, Alleys Of Your Mind (excerpt)
Alleys Of Your Mind


Order directly


In 1981, seminal Detroit techno outfit Cybotron (Juan Atkins and Richard Davis) released an early single, “Alleys of your Mind.” Thirty-one years later, Alex Kotch writes his own “Alleys of your Mind,” at once a shout-out to one of his greatest influences, and a completely original refashioning of this and his other influences. There’s much I love about the original, and even more about Alex’s, which manages to bring together seemingly disparate elements into a work that speaks to me on so many levels. Plus, let’s just be honest here, it’s got three of my favorite things, all at once: a killer dance beat, a Meredith Monk-esque vocal line, and epic horns. You wouldn’t think it could work—but it does. —Clara Schuhmacher, Development Manager for Institutional Giving


Toby Twining: Eurydice

Toby Twining, Orpheus at the Gates
Cantaloupe Records

This is one of my favorite operas. The completely unique tonal journey Twining creates in Eurydice, from start to finish, yields an astounding emotional and musical experience that is, literally, breathtaking. “Orpheus at the Gates” is perhaps one of the most climactic moments of the entire opera, during which the aesthetic and harmonic resonance become most clear to me. In these minutes, the singers and cellist are able to so precisely embody the extended just intonation and creative vocal techniques that define the work, that I can’t help but feel I am standing in an other-worldly dimension with Orpheus, watching him open the gates of the underworld with his musical prowess. —Emily Bookwalter, Program Manager



Christopher Stark, Augenblick
Performed by Cornell University Wind Ensemble
Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor

Two sound worlds that I always thought of as being light years apart are symphonic wind band and studio electronic music. But Christopher Stark’s 2008 Augenblick seamlessly weaves these realms together in ways that have made me rethink both of these idioms. —Frank J. Oteri, Composer Advocate and Senior Editor, NewMusicBox


Tim Eriksen: Josh Billings Voyage or, Cosmopolite on the Cotton Road

Tim Eriksen, Every Day is Three
Josh Billings Voyage or, Cosmopolite on the Cotton Road

Order from Bandcamp


“Every Day Is Three” offers an interpretation of the traditional folk tune “My Dearest Dear,” which contains such crushing lines as, “I wish my breast was made of glass and in it you might behold/Your name in secret I would write in letters of bright gold” and “If ever I prove false to thee, the raging seas shall burn.” Here performed alongside a striking bowed banjo accompaniment, the music sets the scene for a collection of songs that tell tales of grand love and epic voyages, tinted with all manner of cultural influences. —Molly Sheridan, Executive Editor, NewMusicBox


New Music USA’s Supported Projects Are On Everybody’s Lists

Coming up to the end of the year, we’ve been watching projects funded through New Music USA’s grant programs turn up on “Best of” lists and snag a couple Grammy nominations, too. It’s great to see stuff we helped make happen do so well out there in the world.

Steve Mackey’s record with eighth blackbird, Lonely Motel—Music from Slide, got a Grammy nomination earlier this month. In 2008, the project won a commissioning grant to create a really wild theater piece, including the music on this disc. Lonely Motel got nominated for both the Best Classical Composition as well as the Best Small Ensemble Performance.

Gabriela Lena Frank’s music is also catching Grammy attention in the Best Small Ensemble Performance category (and as we’ve highlighted before). Currently Music Alive composer-in-residence with the Annapolis Symphony, the nod came for this disc on Naxos.

Gabriel Kahane, currently Music Alive composer-in-residence with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, took the number two spot on Steve Smith’s list of the best records this year with his album, Where Are The Arms.

And Meredith Monk, most recently awarded a Commissioning Music/USA grant with the St. Louis Symphony for Weave, won Musical America’s 2012 Composer of the Year.

What have been your triumphs in 2011? Want to give a shout-out to a project making waves in your world this year? Let us know in comments!

CAP Recording Awards Announced

This is the second year of the Composers Assistance Program – Recording. We’re very pleased to announce New Music USA’s support for fifteen exemplary recording projects. Download the Press Release for the full details, and if you’re interested in applying, stay tuned for next year’s deadline! This year’s deadline was July 14.

Full Press Release


List of awardees:


CALDER QUARTET (Los Angeles, CA) records works commissioned by the Carlsbad Music Festival featuring composers Ryan Carter, Tristan Perich, Nathan Davis and Daniel Wohl on Airplane Ears Records.

ANTHONY CHEUNG (Cambridge, MA) will self-release his first professional recording of his small ensemble works with Talea Ensemble.

MARIO DIAZ DE LEON (New York, NY) will also have an opportunity to record his music with Talea Ensemble who originally premiered all three works. The album will be released on Shinkoyo Records.

ENSEMBLE PAMPLEMOUSSE (New York, NY) embark on their project Raanna Jedaku, including works by Rama Gottfried, Andrew Greenwald and Natacha Diels with Carrier Records.

JOEL HARRISON (Brooklyn, NY) records the album Infinite Possibility with his large jazz ensemble, to be released on Sunnyside Records.

GUY KLUCEVEK, (Staten Island, NY), composer/accordionist, embarks on a self-produced recording project titled The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour with Innova Records.

DIANE MOSER (Upper Montclair, NJ) and the Diane Moser Quintet will release her six movement suite Music for the Last Flower on Planet Arts Records.

MILES OKAZAKI (Brooklyn, NY) will release a record on Sunnyside titled Figurations for jazz quartet including the composer and musicians Miguel Zenon, Thomas Morgan and Dan Weiss.

ADAM RUDOLPH (Maplewood, NJ) and the Organic Orchestra will release an album of Rudolph’s orchestral works completing their first studio recording together.

JOSHUA SCHNEIDER (Brooklyn, NY) and his EasyBake Orchestra begin documenting his large ensemble music to culminate in his first recorded album.

ARLENE SIERRA (Sheffield, MA) releases her milestone recording with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Quattro Mani and the Peabody Trio on Bridge Records.

MATT SLOCUM (Patterson, NJ) releases an independent jazz recording on Chandra Records with Gerald Clayton, Massimo Biolcati and the composer performing.

CHRISTINE SOUTHWORTH (Lexington, MA) will have the opportunity to record her string quartets with the Calder Quartet, Face the Music Quartet (with piano), Kronos Quartet and Gamelan Galak Tika.

D.J. SPARR (Richmond, VA) will have his first professional recording of his chamber music works released on Centaur Records with New Music Raleigh, Hexnut Ensemble, Karen Galvin and the composer performing.

MATTHEW ULERY (Chicago, IL) releases a double vinyl set of his modern chamber jazz music performed by his ensemble Loom.