Contemporaneous is a New York-based ensemble of twenty-one musicians dedicated to performing and promoting the most exciting music of now. Recognized for its "ferocious, focused performance" (The New York Times) and its "passionate drive...setting a high bar for other ensembles to live up to" (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous' concerts, collaborations, recordings, and outreach programs have created a thriving community of artists and audience members united by a shared love for the best music being written in our time.
Founded in 2010 at Bard College, Contemporaneous has played over seventy shows at venues including (le) poisson rouge, Merkin Concert Hall, Roulette, St. Ann's Warehouse, Galapagos Art Space, Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Stone and has been featured at the Bang on a Can Marathon, MATA Interval Series, Tribeca New Music Festival, Neighborhood Classics, Music with a View, Make Music New York and in California at the Berkeley Arts Festival. The ensemble's recordings have been featured on many radio programs, including WNYC's "New Sounds" and WRTI's "Now is the Time."
Contemporaneous supports the work of new and established composers, encouraging artists to take risks, challenge expectations, and defy constraints. The ensemble has performed more than thirty world premieres by such composers as Albert Behar, Conor Brown, Ryan Chase, Kyle Gann, Yotam Haber, Molly Joyce and Dylan Mattingly. In April, 2012, Innova Recordings released the ensemble's debut album, Stream of Stars — Music of Dylan Mattingly, comprising music written specifically for Contemporaneous by its founding co-artistic director.
Contemporaneous often collaborates with musicians and artists from other fields, among them pop and rock artists Jherek Bishoff, David Byrne, Sondre Lerche, Amanda Palmer, Zac Pennington, Greg Saunier, Mirah Zeitlyn, Zola Jesus, Fifth Veil and Yassou Benedict. Contemporaneous is in residence at Bard College and the University of New Orleans and has presented educational programs for New York public elementary schools P.S. 142 and P.S. 321, the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra and the Poughkeepsie Day School.
Contemporaneous is a self-sustaining, independent, not-for-profit organization, fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas.
The mission of Contemporaneous is:
- to provide composers with the opportunity to take risks and to challenge themselves and their audiences, without regard for conventional constraints on creative imagination;
- to present the most exciting music of our time through innovative performances and recordings; and
- to bring educational and outreach programs to communities in need, especially those that would not otherwise have access to new music.