Our History

For the past ten years, New Music USA has offered support and opportunities to individual artists and organizations undertaking imaginative and transformative work in music.

We are known for our project grants and programs which provide around $1M to our community each year and our role as advocate for new music discovery in the United States. We represent our community internationally through our membership of the International Association of Music Information Centers and the International Society for Contemporary Music.

We’re fortunate to have as our legacy, decades of good work done by the American Music Center and Meet the Composer, the two important organizations that merged to form New Music USA in 2011. The American Music Center (AMC) was founded in 1939 as a membership organization by composers Marion Bauer, Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Harrison Kerr, Otto Luening, and Quincy Porter. Meet The Composer was founded in 1974 by the New York State Council on the Art and later run as an independent organization by the composer John Duffy. Find out more about our founding organizations here. For recipients of the American Music Center awards, please see here.

Resources past and present

For many years the main activity of American Music Center was the accumulation of a library of American music. In 1999, the American Music Center launched the web magazine NewMusicBox, and, in 2007, Counterstream Radio, a 24-hour online station broadcasting music by United States composers. NewMusicBox is our most longstanding program and continues to offer a vital platform for creators to speak about issues relevant to them in their own words.

When Meet the Composer and American Music Center merged, a small financial endowment was created that mostly contributes to our annual grants program. We salute the generous funders of our endowment for creating this enduring resource for new music.

As demand greatly outweighs the support we can offer through our endowment generated funds, we are extremely grateful each year to the many other institutions and individuals around the country who make it possible for us to continue and grow this work.

More recent artist development and capacity building initiatives have been created in collaboration with new funding partners and artists from our community. All of our supporters are as dedicated as we are to the advancement of new music. They are helping us to better serve the needs of our inventive and far-reaching community.

Help us make our next ten years even more impactful!