On this page you will find articles about composers, performers or things related to contemporary music.
In 2012 New Music Forum will be celebrating its 11th year as the Contemporary Classical Music Resource. The website was created on January 4, 2001 and has been the springboard for various articles, interviews, reviews and the popular Festival of Contemporary Music. Stay tuned to NMF over the next few weeks as we will reveal [...]
This part of the article focuses on how Cendres has been influential to my music. After listening to Cendres I knew that this was the type of piece that I wanted to compose. When I was finished with the piano piece I was composing, I began to think about this Cendres-influenced piece. I checked out a copy of [...]
Going through the archives today I realized that I never posted Part 4 of the Modern Masterworks series on Kaija Saariaho’s Cendres for alto flute, cello and piano. This part will be posted at noon on Tuesday, January 10, 2012. I apologize to my reader for this glaring omission. In addition there will be a [...]
As 2011 passes into 2012 everyone at New Music Forum and the Festival of Contemporary Music would like to wish everyone a safe, prosperous and happy new year! We look forward to seeing you at one of our events in 2012.
I have recently reinstated the aStore for New Music Forum through the Amazon Affiliate Program. Back in June 2011 the Governor of California signed a new law that imposed the collection of taxes from consumers in sales by online retailers like Amazon.com even if they do not have a physical presence in California. This new [...]
From everyone at New Music Forum and the Festival of Contemporary Music, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. I hope that you were able to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. Merry Christmas!
This August and September I will be expanding the content available on New Music Forum. We will be digging into our archives and posting recordings from the Festival of Contemporary Music past and present. There will be other addition to come in the near future so stay tuned!
On Tuesday, February 22, 2011 Ondine Records released the premiere recording of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s first opera Kaivos. The Finnish-born Rautavaara composed this opera between 1957 and 1962. This recording was produced in conjunction with the first live performance of the opera in September 2010. The thematic allusions to the Hungarian uprising in 1956 had impeded the [...]
To order any of the new releases listed here from Amazon.com visit the NMF aStore February 1, 2011 ALBANY RECORDS ARAUCO, Ingrid: Invocation – piano and chamber music Various performers LEFKOWITZ, David: Music of Contradictions Various performers WILLEY, James: String Quartets Nos. 3, 7 & 8 Esterhazy Quartet WOLFGANG, Gernot: Short Stories Various performers NONESUCH [...]
Fantasia was conceived as an ongoing series combining music and animation. Each new presentation of Fantasia would combine old favorites with new productions. Unfortunately during World War II Disney Studios suffered many financial troubles and the project was subsequently canceled. That is until 1999 when Disney revived Fantasia with Fantasia 2000.
Film composer John Barry died from a heart attack on Sunday, January 30, 2011. He was 77 years old. Born John Barry Prendergast on November 3, 1933 in York, England, he received piano lessons at a young age. He soon found a new passion in the trumpet. Barry lived most of his adult life in Oyster Bay, Long, Island, New York.
On Saturday, January 29, 2011 avant-garde composer Milton Babbitt passed away. He was 96. Babbitt, born May 10, 1916, is best known for his work in incorporating the synthesizer into contemporary classical music. In the 1950s Babbitt was hired by RCA as a consultant to help develop the Mark II synthesizer. He was also the founder and director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center where the Mark II was installed.
This is actually a new old release. Nonesuch Records has re-released the original cast recording of John Adams’s Nixon in China. This recording features Sanford Sylvan as Chou En-Lai, James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, Thomas Hammons as Henry Kissenger and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Edo de Waart.
Composer and Bassoonist Jamie Leigh Sampson is working to compile a complete resource of contemporary techniques for the bassoon. This will be a valuable resource for composers and bassoonists alike. In order to help fund the research and creation of this book Jamie has organized a funding drive on kickstarter.com.
To order any of the new releases listed here from Amazon.com visit the NMF aStore January 4, 2011 LINN RECORDS BAKER, John Bevan: Songs of Courtship Hebrides Ensemble • Consort of Voices MUSIC AND ARTS GRANTE, Carlo: Piano Music of Busoni, Bloch, Finnissy, Flynn Carlo Grante, piano ZOOM/INDIE EUROPE MEDTNER, Nikolai: Complete Piano Sonatas Hamish [...]
One of the aspects of Saariaho’s Cendres that really drew me in is the harmonic language. After my initial listening it seemed to me that the harmonic language was relatively static. I had thought that there was little to no progression in the direction of the piece. After repeated listening and a brief study of the score I found that is not the case.
Prior to hearing Kaija Saariaho’s Cendres for the first time I was only familiar with about three of her orchestral works and some of her electro-acoustic compositions. Cendres was the first piece for acoustic chamber music of Saariaho’s that I heard. This piece really captivated me. The instrumentation was, at the time, to me different: alto flute, cello and piano.
From everyone here at New Music Forum and the Festival of Contemporary Music I would like to wish all of our supporters a Happy New Year! There will be some exciting things happening here are New Music Forum in 2011 so please stay tuned.
Kaija Saariaho’s Cendres for alto flute, cello and piano is for me one of the most influential pieces of chamber music. Composed in 1998 Cendres was commissioned for the Wolpe Trio. The word cendres is French for ashes. The basis of the musical material was derived from Saariaho’s double concerto…
I am planning a new series of articles entitled “Modern Masterworks.” This series will feature pieces that we consider to be important. Each article will give an overview of the piece, description of techniques, overview of the harmonic language used and other things that make this piece standout from the rest.
Last week I started a new blog. This blog will focus on a certain area of interest of mine: color music. I began doing research on this topic about five years ago when I was working towards a Ph. D in Music Composition at the University of Oregon.
To order any of the new releases listed here from Amazon.com visit the NMF aStore December 7, 2010 DECCA ELOQUENCE RODRIGO, Joaquin: Concierto de Aranjuez, Invocacion y Danza Wiener Oktett December 14, 2010 BRIDGE MAMLOK, Ursula: The Music of Ursula Mamlok 2 NAXOS BRIAN, Havergal: In Memoriam, Festal Dance, Symphonies Nos 17 & 32 RTÉ [...]
On Tuesday November 30, 2010 Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will be re-released on DVD and released on Blu-ray for the first time ever. Now you will be able to experience the intertwining of music and animation as only the Disney animators, Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra and James Levine with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can bring together.
This article was originally written in October 2002. October 14, 2002 saw the 50th birthday of composer Kaija Saariaho. Over the last 5-10 years Saariaho has been gaining prominence among American audiences. This Finnish-born composer has been living and working in Paris for about the last 20 twenty years. She began studying music composition at [...]
A new section has been added at New Music Forum. In this section you will find resourses for the “Musician’s Toolbox” including definitions for 20th-Century compositional techniques. More definitions and resourses will be added periodically.
To order any of the new releases listed here from Amazon.com visit the NMF aStore November 2, 2010 DECCA ELOQUENCE 20TH CENTURY CHAMBER MUSIC BRITTEN, HINDEMITH, POOT, BADINGS AND WELLESZ Wiener Oktett November 9, 2010 DUTTON LABORATORIES BRIAN, Havergal: Dr. Merryheart Overture, Symphonies Nos. 9 & 11 London Symphony Orcehstra, Harry Newstone and Normal Del [...]
Polish-born composer Henryk Górecki passed away on November 12, 2010 at the age of 76. Górecki died in the cardiology ward of a hospital in his home city of Katowice in southern Poland. He died from complications due to a lung infection. Best known for his Symphony No. 3, op. 36 “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” [...]
To order any of the new releases listed here from Amazon.com visit the NMF aStore
On Tuesday, September 21, 2010 Deutsche Grammophon will release violinist Hilary Hahn’s latest CD. This recording will feature violin concertos composed by Jennifer Higdon and Peter Tchaikovsky. Hilary will be backed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko, conductor…
New Releases for September 2010. Note: This is not a complete list of releases.
Over the next few weeks, I will be going through the New Music Forum Archive and posting interviews, concert and album reviews and other related materials. The archive posts will occur at least twice a week. So please check back frequently as we will be adding a lot of content to New Music Forum!
Yesterday the new version of New Music Forum launched. We are excited to present this version to you. Please take a few minutes to look around. Content from the old site is still being added so don’t fret if you don’t see some of the articles or information that you have seen here before. If [...]