New music is not new to Austin, but its supporters have largely been of the grassroot variety and its funding has typically come in the form of modest ticket prices, tip jars, and any number of thankless day jobs. Now one of the big players in town, Texas Performing Arts, is using a significant new grant to throw its weight behind not only the creation of new music, but also its presentation to a new audience.
What a week. The Mizzou New Music Summer Festival proved to be an intense, non-stop learning experience. Right from the beginning, I felt like I had been dropped down into the midst of a Hollywood party with all these great composers and musicians. The formal and informal meetings, rehearsals, and activities were never-ending and one activity seemed to flow seamlessly into the next.
One of the things about the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival that has absolutely captivated me this week is the personal role that one of the primary donors, Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield takes in the festival. I have never experienced this type of relationship before, and it has made me think a lot about the importance of patronage from private sources.
There is not much about Columbia, Missouri, that screams NEW MUSIC, and it may seem an unlikely place to host a vibrant festival with headlining names such as Roger Reynolds or Alarm Will Sound. However, Columbia, Missouri, is now home to a burgeoning new music scene in which the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival plays an important part.
This year in Seattle, Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony are celebrating the music director’s final season at the helm of the orchestra by presenting 22 world premieres, including 18 new works commissioned under the banner of the Gund/Simonyi Farewell Commissions. We caught up with the maestro in advance of his final concerts of the season to chat about new music, new ideas, and not taking no for an answer.
How has the younger generation been inspired by Reich? After this weekend, I feel that it’s much more of a philosophical legacy than a sonic one.
The Barbican’s “Reverberations: The Influence of Steve Reich” festival in London was a 14-hour marathon of epic proportions that would give even the most obsessive Bang on a Can fan a run for their money.
Composer and NewMusicBox correspondent Missy Mazzoli’s photos from the Barbican’s celebration of Steve Reich.
The Rethink Music conference enjoyed some heavy aegis: Berklee, the music trade fair organization MIDEM, the Harvard Business School, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The nominal ambition was similarly impressive: “To talk about solutions to moving the music industry forward,” according to conference Executive Director Allen Bargfrede; to “foster creativity and a thriving music industry,” according to the conference website. Roger Brown offered as inspiration the British government’s 18th-century Board of Longitude and its competition to solve that problem of marine navigation. Since we now cross the Atlantic 360 times faster than they did in the 18th century, we should be able, Brown said, to solve the problems facing the music industry “360 times faster than it took to solve the problem of longitude.”