Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 21 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recently recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “passionate drive...setting an extremely high bar for other ensembles to live up to” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs.
Based in New York City and active throughout the United States, Contemporaneous has performed at a wide range of venues, including Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, (le) poisson rouge, Merkin Concert Hall, Baryshnikov Arts Center, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. The ensemble has worked with artists as diverse as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Yotam Haber, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.
Contemporaneous has premiered more than 100 works, many of them large-scale pieces by emerging composers. Through its commissions and readiness to play challenging music, the ensemble encourages composers to take risks and defy constraints. Contemporaneous' debut album, Stream of Stars — Music of Dylan Mattingly (Innova Recordings), has been featured on radio programs around the world, including WNYC's “New Sounds” and WRTI's “Now is the Time.”
Contemporaneous also leads participatory programs for public school students in the communities where the ensemble performs. These workshops are designed to instill a passion for new music and to convey the power of careful listening and meaningful expression through music. The ensemble has held residencies at Simon's Rock College, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, and Bard College, where the group was founded in 2010.
Lucy Dhegrae — soprano
Colin Davin — guitar
Kate Dreyfuss — violin
Josh Henderson — violin
Finnegan Shanahan — violin
Sabrina Tabby — violin
Sarah Haines — viola
Dylan Mattingly — cello, co-artistic director
Pat Swoboda — contrabass
David Bloom — conductor, co-artistic director
Fanny Wyrick-Flax — flute
Stuart Breczinski — oboe
Vicente Alexim — clarinet
Daniel Kochersberger — saxophone
David Nagy — bassoon
Cameron West — horn
Evan Honse — trumpet
Daniel Linden — trombone
Matt Evans — percussion
Amy Garapic — percussion
Milena Gligić — piano
Press Quotes and Reviews
"The ensemble Contemporaneous attacked, with passion[...] Feverishly varied, [Andrew Norman's] Try was given a ferocious, focused performance by Contemporaneous and its conductor, David Bloom, that ended, after 10 minutes of fury, in a sinuous melody for piano, then barely audible breathing through the clarinet and flute."
— Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times (June 23, 2014)
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"[Dawn] Upshaw's lustrous instrument was delicately framed by members of Contemporaneous, led adroitly by conductor David Bloom."
— Bruce Hodges, Seen and Heard International (September 16, 2015)
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"What came through loud and clear were the ensemble’s tremendous versatility, fine musicianship, focus, and incredibly rich and varied talent, as well as the powerful commitment to creating and fostering an ever-expanding community among composers, musicians, and listeners. It’s been a privilege to be one of the ensemble’s listeners, and I can’t wait for what comes next."
— Susan Scheid, Prufrock's Dilemma (March 16, 2015)
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"For those unfamiliar with New York-based Contemporaneous, you need to learn about what you’re missing [...] Contemporaneous has once again displayed the passionate drive for new music in a younger generation of composers and musicians. The musical ability of all of the players in the group is fantastic, and coupled with a drive to commission and perform new works by young composers, Contemporaneous is setting an extremely high bar for other ensembles to live up to."
— Sam Reising, I Care If You Listen (December 13, 2013)
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Sawdust and Diamonds
The Roots Run Deep
Educational Program Topics
Contemporaneous offers tailor-made educational programs centered around the creation and performance of new music for students of all ages, from Kindergarteners to adults. The ensemble has presented these programs for such institutions as public schools in New York City, Bard College, Williams College, the University of New Orleans, the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, and many others.
The Composer in You: Built around activities designed for participation by students at any level of musical training, this workshop is easily adaptable to school groups of any age and size. By demonstrating the ability of new music to convey emotions particular to our time and place, Contemporaneous aims to instill a passion for new music.
Composition students: Contemporaneous offers performances, readings, and recordings of new works by student composers, as well as workshops on instrumental techniques and professional development. The ensemble treats student works with the same kind of passion and devotion with which it approaches its own repertoire, and encourages long-term, long-distance collaborations with students writing for the ensemble.
Instrumental, vocal, and conducting masterclasses: With consummate musicians on virtually every instrument, Contemporaneous offers uniquely broad possibilities in performance masterclasses focused on contemporary repertoire and techniques.
Making a Life in Music: This round-table discussion with the members of Contemporaneous offers diverse insights and advice on starting an artistically fulfilling and financially sustainable career in music.
No Time Like the Present — Introductions to New Music: Designed to give people of all ages their first experience with new music, these intimate, in-depth conversations help new-comers to new music find a way in to appreciating and enjoying unfamiliar music.
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For booking inquiries, contact co-artistic director David Bloom:
Phone: (205) 914.0663
For press inquiries, contact publicity manager Kate Dreyfuss:
Phone: (973) 986.8536
P.O. Box 275
New York, NY 10023