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 (CNM), CFA upholds this tradition while moving forward onto new paths of discovery. Located within a thriving music school, the 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 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 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.

View information about previous CNM seasons.

Boston University Center for New Music
Schedule of Events 2018-19

Artist in Residence

November 2018
TAK Ensemble
TAK is a quintet (flute, clarinet, violin, percussion, piano and soprano) that delivers energetic and virtuosic performances of contemporary classical music. Their debut album “Ecstatic Music: TAK plays Taylor Brook” was released by New Focus Recordings in September 2016, to critical acclaim; it was featured as Q2 Music’s Album of the Week by WQXR, and was listed in the Top 10 Classical Albums of 2016 by The Boston Globe, which praised the “young, fearless players… fluid grace and confidence.”

The ambitious ensemble “impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity — and, well, just a dash of IDGAF as they slay the thorniest material like it’s nothing” (Q2 Music). Dedicated to the commissioning of new works and direct collaboration with composers and other artists, TAK promotes ambitious programming at the highest level, fostering engagement both within the contemporary music community and the artistic community at large.

Concerts

November 26, 2018, 8pm
TAK Ensemble
CFA Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Free concert
– Ornations –Tyshawn Sorey
– Only the words themselves mean what they say – Kate Soper
– Amalgam– Taylor Brook
– Deseo from Love, Crystal and Stone– Ashkan Behzadi
– Series Imposture – David Bird
– Mouthpiece 28 – Erin Gee
– Eyam iii (if it’s living somewhere outside of you)– Ann Cleare

November 28, 2018, 8pm
TAK Ensemble
CFA Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Free concert
– Works written by Boston University composers for TAK

Composer in Residence

February 9-March 1, 2019 
Klaus Lang
The music of Klaus Lang is a wonderful example of the fruitful coexistence of objectivity and mysticism, of concept and image, of planning and hoping, of thought and experience. The things about which one can speak and write in Lang’s work are the countable things and the forms they take; structures and systems.

Klaus Lang (*1971 Graz / Austria) lives in Steirisch Lassnitz (Austria). He studied composition and theory of music (with H.M. Preßl, B. Furrer and Y. Pagh-Paan) and organ. Klaus Lang loves tea and dislikes lawnmowers and Richard Wagner. Klaus Lang’s music is not a means to convey extra musical contents, such as emotions, philosophical or religious ideas, political propaganda, advertisement etc.… His music is no language used to communicate non-musical content. Music is seen as a free and self-standing acoustical object. In his work he is not using sound, sound is explored and given the opportunity to unfold its inherent rich beauties. Only when sound is just sound it is perceivable as that what it really is: a temporal phenomenon – audible time. Klaus Lang sees time as the genuine material of a composer and at the same time also the fundamental content of music. In his view musical material is time perceived through sound, the object of music is the experience of time through listening.

Public Lectures

February 12, 19, & 26, 2019, 9:30-10:50am
College of Fine Arts, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Room B38

Concerts

February 15, 2019, 8pm
Klaus Lang and Barbara Konrad
Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Free concert
Klaus Lang and Barbara Konrad play Organ and viola d’amore in a concert spanning time and aesthetics with music from the baroque to our time. Barbara Konrad, born in Graz, studies classical violin in Graz and Vienna. Since 2001 she stops to play in orchestras and to give lessons and starts with tango, dance music and so called “Wiener Schrammelmusik”. 2008 she goes to Belgium, to study old music. Since she plays violin and viola in “La Petite Bande”, “Ars Antiqua Austria”, “Bach Concentus”, and between a lot of chamber music – from time to time in groups like Les Buffardins, Le Concert d’Anvers, Il Gardellino, L’Orfeo Barockorchester. At the moment she is highly interested in diminutions of Italian music of the 15th century and explores together with Klaus Lang the tonal options of “Viola d’ Amore.”

February 23, 2019, 8pm
Sound Icon plays Klaus Lang

CFA Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Free concert
Sound Icon will continue their collaboration with BU CNM in a concert built around Klaus Lang’s ensemble work and featuring his percussion quartet The Moon in a Moonless Sky and his work for oboe and ensemble Der Dünne Wal along with the winner of the BU CNM/ Sound Icon composition competition. Sound Icon is a sinfonietta committed to performing the most significant progressive works of the past few decades.  As a sinfonietta, Sound Icon offers the color palette of a full orchestra with the precision and flexibility of a chamber ensemble. The technical and logistical challenges of contemporary repertoire for sinfonietta often discourage live performance in the United States, however, Sound Icon embraces this music and aims to bring this repertoire to Boston and beyond. Through ambitious programming performed to the highest standards, Sound Icon engages audiences in dialogues about what progressive music is and can be: music that redefines rules, experiences, and expectations. 

February 25, 2019, 8pm
Boston University Symphony Orchestra
Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Free concert
The BU Symphony (BUSO) will perform Klaus Lang’s the thin tree.

February 28, 2019, 8pm
The Music of Klaus Lang – featuring Yarn/Wire and Sound Icon
ICA/Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston
$20 general admission; $10 ICA members + students
Austrian composer Klaus Lang embraces the influence of history. His compositions reflect a keen understanding of the musical canon, from early 17th century composers like Frescobaldi to 20th century experimentalists like John Cage and Morton Feldman. Catalyzed by history, his compositions conjure a strange and mesmerizing sound world that exists somewhere between the past and the present. At the ICA, two highly acclaimed ensembles will interpret Lang’s music. The percussion/piano quartet Yarn/Wire will perform molten trees (2017), and members of the Boston-based sinfonietta Sound Icon will perform weisse aepfel (2009).

Student Readings

February 10, 2019, 7-10pm
CFA Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Sound Icon reads and records works by BU student composers for large ensemble.

March 1, 2019, 10am-1pm
CFA Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Yarn/wire reads and records works by BU student composers for 2 pianos and percussion