What is American Music?

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard America is a land of immigrants and the culture of America has been formed and reshaped time and time again by the immigrants whose traditions get introduced here and then morphed into something completely new. When we speak of an “American tradition,” it is almost an oxymoron because it […]

What do you expect to hear when someone says “American music?”

Chen Yi“I think that all musical works composed in the States AND influenced by American culture are considered American music.” Judith Lang Zaimont“In a very real sense, it is the lifeblood of our country expressed in sound.” Howard Mandel“America’s music is wide and wild, fed by hundreds of old and new musical strains.” David Nicholls“From […]

Tania León: What it Means to be an American Composer

Although raised in Cuba, Tania León was born into a family that had roots from all different parts of the globe. Since arriving in the United States, where she has been based since 1967, she has come to realize that her own multicultural heritage is what makes her a quintessentially American composer.

Memorable outdoor premieres you’ve heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Joseph Dalton, Executive Director, Composers Recordings Inc. (CRI)

Joseph DaltonPhoto by Dorothy Alexander Collecting composers’ autographs used to be a hobby of mine. In my youth it was an early indicator of my future profession. It also got me to attend (and sometimes to endure) all manner of musical happenings, and allowed me to meet some wonderful figures, some of whom are now […]

Memorable outdoor premieres you’ve heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Marilyn Nonken, Pianist

Marilyn Nonken by Sara Press A few years ago, I stumbled into a Henry Brant premiere taking place outdoors at Lincoln Center: a work written to commemorate Columbus’s discovery of America. Various ensembles were playing around the plaza: jazz band, orchestra, maybe a sax quartet or mariachi ensemble. Honestly, no matter where I went, I […]

Memorable outdoor premieres you’ve heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Michael Torke, Composer

Michael TorkePhoto by Vivianne Purdom, courtesy Decca I remember a concert at the Tanglewood Music Center that had both David Del Tredici’s “Happy Voices” (from Child Alice) and John Adams’s Harmonielehre on the same program! This was the summer of 1984, fresh after Paul Fromm made public his criticisms of the ’70s kind of thorny […]

Soundtracks: July 1999

For our third issue of NewMusicBox, we have expanded the scope of SoundTracks. In addition to featuring the cover and complete track information for all new recordings of American music that we can get our hands on, we are also featuring sound samples of every recording. So rather than hearing us rave about one of […]

How Festivals can Attract New Audiences to American Music

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard Five years ago some friends of mine drove me down to a bluegrass festival in Stumptown, West Virginia — a more than 10 hour journey from New York City which was more time than I’ve ever spent in a car in my whole life being the die-hard urbanite! At […]