Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 22 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 “captivating and whole-hearted commitment” (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 for a wide range of presenters, including Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can. The ensemble has worked with a wide range of artists, including David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Yotam Haber, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.
Contemporaneous has premiered more than 120 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 such institutions as City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, and Bard College, where the group was founded in 2010.
Contemporaneous is a federally tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, supported by a dedicated community of listeners. Read more at contemporaneous.org.
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.
Boards and Staff
Board of Directors
Thomas Bartscherer — classicist, writer, Assistant Professor of Humanities at Bard College
David Bloom — co-artistic director, Contemporaneous (ex-officio)
Dylan Mattingly — co-artistic director, Contemporaneous (ex-officio)
Alan Neumann — preservation architect
George Tsontakis — composer, actor, Distinguished Composer in Residence at Bard College
Charles Amirkhanian — composer, executive and artistic director of Other Minds
James Bagwell — conductor, music director of Collegiate Chorale, Professor of Music at Bard College
Sarah Cahill — pianist, writer, and producer
Marjorie Folkman — dancer, choreographer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Bard College
Adam Fong — composer, bassist, executive director of Center for New Music
Kyle Gann — composer, musicologist, Professor of Music at Bard College
Judd Greenstein — composer, co-director of New Amsterdam Records, curator of Ecstatic Music Festival
John Halle — composer, writer, Director of Studies and Bard College Conservatory of Music
Nathaniel Hartman — new media artist, percussionist, composer
Erica Kiesewetter — violinist, concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra
David Ludwig — composer, Artistic Chair of Performance Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music
Missy Mazzoli — composer, pianist, founder of Victoire
Blair McMillen — pianist, member of Da Capo Chamber Players
Alan Pierson — conductor, artistic director of Alarm Will Sound and Brooklyn Philharmonic
Joan Tower — composer, Professor in the Arts at Bard College