Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 22 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. 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 been presented by such institutions as Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can and has worked with such artists as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.
Contemporaneous has premiered more than 150 works, and with its newly-launched program Contemporaneous IMAGINATION, the ensemble champions large-scale works, curated from an open call for artists to submit ideas for projects that take risks and defy constraints. The ensemble has recently released the first season of its new podcast Imagination Radio, which explores the significance of creativity and music in our lives through dialogues with composers, scientists, a cartographer, and a BASE jumper. Contemporaneous has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe, Innova, Roven, and Navona labels.
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.
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