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NewMusicBox Article

Blogging from ISCM WNMD Days 1 & 2: Composer as President and More…

By Frank J. Oteri
Croatian President Ivo Josipović still actively composes music—no excuses not to make time to compose for any of us who have to maintain day jobs in order to earn a living!

Apr 11, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Blogging ISCM WNMD Days 3 and 4: Freedom of Creation

It is so gratifying that this year’s festival has resulted in exposure for so many new American compositional voices.

Apr 13, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Blogging ISCM WNMD Day 6, Part 2 and Beyond: Reconstructing the Final Hours

My head is still spinning as I consider how we can make the ISCM World New Music Days happen again in the United States.

Apr 18, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Blogging ISCM WNMD Days 4 and 5: All Kinds of New Music

The last 24 hours have been another relentless roller coaster ride of music and ideas.

Apr 14, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Klaus Heymann: The Last Record Man Standing

It’s hard to believe that less than 25 years ago, a record label named Naxos sprang up seemingly out of nowhere offering quality recordings of most of the standard classical music repertoire for a fraction of typical retail cost. But what might be even harder to believe is that this global operation is basically the creation of one man—Klaus Heymann

Oct 12, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Caroline Shaw: Yes, a Composer, but Perhaps not a Baker!

Caroline Shaw’s compositions are central to her musical identity and, in recent years, she has been venturing far beyond works that she has created for her own performance.

Mar 01, 2015
NewMusicBox Article

It’s Difficult to be a World Showcase with Limited Resources: The 2015 ISCM World Music Days

All in all, the 2015 edition of the World Music Days was filled with lots of truly memorable music that was very well performed and I was very happy that I had the opportunity to be there to experience it firsthand. Still, I could not help thinking that this one-of-a-kind new music assemblage could be so much more than what had been presented in Ljubljana.

Oct 23, 2015
NewMusicBox Article

Kristin Kuster Wins ACO Commission

Kristin Kuster In the book world, there’s talk going ’round that prizes, not reviews, are what’s catching reader attention and driving sales these days. If that applies to the music world as well, Kristin Kuster will likely be getting a bit of a career boost. Earlier this year, she picked up a 2004 Charles Ives… Read more »

Jun 18, 2004
NewMusicBox Article

Cities on Water

A word about the spectacular venue where most Gaudeamus Music Week events take place: The Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.

Sep 04, 2008
NewMusicBox Article

Blogging from ISCM WNMD Days 2 & 3: Getting The Word Out

Reading Michael Nyman’s book Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond changed the life of Slovak composer Daniel Matej and served as a blueprint for a contemporary music festival he programmed for 20 years which prominently featured American composers.

Apr 12, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Clarity of Focus

Concerts devoted exclusively to the work of a single composer are all too rare occurrences. Even the mythified composers of centuries past rarely get the full-on treatment with the bizarre exception of all the ongoing Beethoven cycles done by groups ranging from solo pianists and string quartets to symphony orchestras. Even the Mostly Mozart festival doesn’t feature a whole lot of all-Wolfgang Amadeus programs. Yet so-called “portrait concerts,” like the pioneering series at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, are an ideal way to be exposed to an individual’s particular sound world.

May 02, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Goose Bumps in the Candy Shop

Although Ellen Taaffe Zwilich has received more accolades than most living composers—the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music and the first composer chair at Carnegie Hall, as well as the only living composer ever mentioned in a Peanuts® comic strip—she believes that the pinnacle of success is hearing a wonderful performance of one of her compositions.

Jun 01, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

We Are the World

The International Music Council is designed to represent anyone involved in any kind of musical activity anywhere in the globe. However, in reality, the IMC has traditionally mostly attracted people involved with music education and representatives from national music councils. In addition to all the “official” musical ambassadors, the IMC’s World Forum for Music also attracted a handful of individual composers and musicologists, and it was nice to see that there was room here for everybody.

Oct 03, 2011
NewMusicBox Article

The Seemingly Less Elusive Orchestra

When I attend a live concert it is almost always because it is features contemporary American music, and usually a premiere. So it might seem strange that between last Thursday and this coming Friday, I will have attended a total of six orchestra concerts, all of them presented by Carnegie Hall.

Mar 26, 2012
NewMusicBox Article

Not Quite a Horse Race

The Grawemeyer has yet to be as widely an acknowledged accolade—even among new music aficionados—as other honors like the annual Pulitzer Prize. Did your morning newspaper (those of you who still read such things) run a story on the Grawemeyer Award this morning?

Nov 26, 2012
NewMusicBox Article

Not Satisfied

Most artistic endeavors in the 21st century have become completely blurry from both an aesthetic and an economic standpoint. I would argue that there never were only two “kinds” of music, but now the two larger umbrellas of “art” and “commerce” hold no water at all. I would also argue that the wall that divided the “two kinds of music” from one another were equally harmful to both sides.

Jun 10, 2013
NewMusicBox Article

From Darmstadt to the Shopping Mall

There have been few additions to the canon of “classical” music from Africa, or most of southern Asia and Oceania. And yet, despite the efforts of extremists in various parts of the world, some form of music is created, performed, and listened to in every nation on the planet; music is one of the few pan-terrestrial human activities.

Nov 26, 2013
NewMusicBox Article

Getting Past Difficult Pronunciations to Answering Some Difficult Questions—the 2014 ISCM World Music Days

Finding a way to attend the International Society for Contemporary Music’s annual World Music Days ought to be a new music aficionado’s equivalent to going on the hajj. Here are some highlights from this year’s edition which was held in Wrocław, Poland.

Oct 21, 2014