Boston University Center for New Music

For nearly three decades, the School of Music at Boston University College of Fine Arts has been a powerful force for new music. The school has trained generations of composers and performers across all departments, hosted visits by leading composers, and has presented thousands of works by known and unknown composers alike.

Through the Boston University Center for New Music, the CFA upholds this tradition while moving forward onto new paths of discovery. Located within a thriving music school, the BU CNM seeks to augment the presence of cutting edge music within the university’s curriculum while encouraging awareness of new music to the BU arts community and the broader New England arts community. The BU CNM hosts lectures, demonstrations, and performances that are open to the public, providing a forum for broader interdisciplinary involvement, expanding the dialogue about new music to a more diverse audience. With these campus activities and through the organizing of broader inter-institutional collaborations, the BU CNM aims to catalyze a new energy in the American music community that looks beyond national or factional divisions, promoting the highest levels of discourse and performance.

Click here to view information about the previous CNM season.

2014–2015 Season

Celebrating its third season, the Boston University Center for New Music is honored to host a number of artists-in-residence, including Italian composer, Pierluigi Billone, for a three-week residency. A student of lauded Italian composer of avant-garde music, Salvatore Sciarinno, Billone views composition as a relationship between composer, object, and sound, and experiments through the exploration of acoustic possibilities, the means of their production, and the manual exploration of the instrument. A three-part series, Billone’s residency will include weeklong residencies with Italian violinist, Marco Fusi, bassoonist Christopher Watford, Boston-based sinofonietta-sized new music ensemble, Sound Icon. Other residencies include a variety of visiting artists and ensembles including a two-day residency with Mario Caroli, one of the most remarkable flutist of his generation and soprano, as well as performances with Tony Arnold, a luminary in the world of contemporary music, the JACK Quartet, and Talea Ensemble.

Composer’s Forums

September 30 Film Music with Larry Groupé (EM studio)
October 7 Contemporary Bassoon with Chris Watford (Concert Hall)
October 21 Composer Jong Yeoul Chong (EM studio)
November 4 Composer Richard Beaudoin (EM studio)
November 11 Composer Evan Johnson (EM studio)
February 3 JACK quartet (Concert Hall)
Feb. 24 Contemporary Flute with Mario Caroli (Concert Hall)
March 3 Jeffrey Means and Toni Arnold on performing Sciarrino’s Lohengrin (Concert Hall)
March 17 Billone with violinist Marco Fusi (Marshal Room)
March 24 Billone with bassoonist Chris Watford (Concert Hall)
March 31 Pierluigi Billone EM studio


October 4 Sound Icon (Concert Hall)
November 8 JACK (ICA Boston) 7pm
December 12 Time’s Arrow 8pm
February 2 JACK Quartet Repertoire (Concert Hall)
February 4 JACK Quartet student works (Tsai)
February 7 Time’s Arrow 8:30pm
February 24 Mario Caroli (Concert Hall)
March 7 Sound Icon Lohengrin (Fenway Center)
March 19 Marco Fusi/ Billone (Hillel House)
March 24 Chris Watford/ Billone (Concert Hall)
March 26 Talea Ensemble/Billone (Concert Hall)
March 27 Time’s Arrow 8pm (Concert Hall)
April 1 Sound Icon / Billone (Tsai)
May 4 Time’s Arrow 8pm


September 27 Sound Icon 7-10pm – Concert Hall
October 7 Chris Watford bassoon (9am-12) – Concert Hall
November 7 JACK Quartet (11am-2) – Concert Hall
February 3 JACK Quartet (3-6) – Concert Hall
February 24 Mario Caroli flute (3-6) – Concert Hall
March 16 Sound Icon (7-10)- Concert Hall
March 18 Marco Fusi violin/viola(7-10) – Marshall Room
March 23 Chris Watford bassoon (3-6) – Marshall Room


October 8 (7pm) Bassoon class with Chris Watford (Marshal)
November 6 (7pm) Quartet masterclass with the JACK (Room 167)
Feb. 4 Quartet masterclass with the JACK, 10-1pm (Marshall Room)
Feb 23 6 pm Flute masterclass with Mario Caroli (Rm 156)
March 17 7:30 pm Violin/viola masterclass with Marco Fusi (Marshall Room)
March 25 6:30-9 Bassoon class with Chris Watford (Rm 167) tenative

Nov. 7 Open rehearsal with the JACK (Room 171)
Feb. 2 Open rehearsal with the JACK 10-1

March 31 Joint day with Billone and Harvard Presentation/Masterclass/Dinner


Sound Icon Ensemble Fall Residency

September 27: reading of student composers Concert Hall

October 4: Fall Concert featuring Robin Hoffmen Locken, HP Kyburtz Cells,  GF Haas La Profondeur and the World premiere of a new commissioned work by Richard Beaudoin

Watford Fall Residency

October 7: Recording (based on recording’s availability) 9-12
Composer’s Forum 12:30-2
October 8 : Master class: 7-10, Marshall Room

Jack Residency 1

Nov. 5-8
November 6, 7pm, 
 Masterclass room 167
November 7 11-2 Reading Concert Hall

November 7, 7pm, Open Rehearsal, room 171
Concert ICA Sat Nov. 8

“In iij. Noct.” String Quartet no. 3 GF Haas

Jack Residency 2

Feb 2: Open rehearsal, 10am-1pm (If you want a later open rehearsal it would have to be in room 167.)
Feb 2: Concert (Concert Hall), 8pm.
Greenwald 10′
Zorn 19′

Radulescu 29′
Feb 3 Tuesday: Composer’s forum, 12:30-2pm (Concert Hall); reading/recording session 3-6pm (Concert Hall).
Feb. 4 Wednesday: Master class, 10-1pm (Marshall Room), Concert of student works 8pm (Tsai).

Mario Caroli

22-24 Feb
Feb 23 Flute lessons
Feb 23 6 pm Flute class in Rm 156
Feb 24 Composer’s forum, 12:30-2 Concert Hall
Feb 24 3-6 composer workshop/readings Concert Hall
Feb 24 concert 8Pm Concert Hall

Composer’s Forum on performing Sciarrino March 3 12:30-2 Concert Hall

featuring members of Sound Icon, their artistic director and conductor Jeffrey Means and soprano Tony Arnold

Sound Icon Lohengrin March 7 (Fenway Center)

Salvatore Sciarrino is considered one of the most important composers of our time. His soundscapes employ isolated sounds, extended techniques of playing, silence and more or less ironic and confrontational quotes, popular music and stories. The opera Lohengrin is loosely based on Julies Laforgue’s version from the 1800s.
In most versions of this well-known chivalric legend, Lohengrin arrives in a boat drawn by swans and rescues a damsel in distress. If she asks for his name, the spell is broken and he has to leave her. In Laforgues’ version the story is given a parodical, slightly surreal form: The Vestal Elsa is accused of “knowing other caresses than that of the moon”, and will be blinded as punishment if no suitors step forward. She is placed in front of a tribunal on the beach, and after three fanfares, Lohengrin comes in from the ocean, riding on one of the aforementioned swans. They get married and withdraw at the wedding villa, where they swim around in the pool chattering before entering the marriage bed. There, the childlike Lohengrin embraces his pillow, whereupon it is transformed into a swan that flies with him out of the window.

March 16 7-10PM Student composer reading with SI concert Hall

Pierluigi Billone

March16-April 2
March 17-22 Marco Fusi
March 17 Masterclass in 171 7-10
March 17 Composer’s Forum 12:30-2 Marshall Room
March 18 Composer readings in Marshall Room 7-10
March 19 Concert 8pm Hillel House

Week of March 23 Chris Watford

March 24: Composers’ Forum 12:30-2, reading/recording 3-6pm (based on recording’s availability) – Concert Hall
March 24 Concert Hall 8pm Backup
March 25: Master class, 6:30-9, Room 167

Sound Icon Student Composer Reading  March 16th – Concert Hall

Talea Billone Concert March 26 8pm Concert Hall

Sound Icon Billone Concert April 1 Tsai

featuring Billone’s

Veritcale Muto

For more information email Joshua Fineberg, Director of the Center for New Music.