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2018_New Music USA 


Annual Report

  • Submitter: 
  • Year: 
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    Our activities at New Music USA are focused on what brings the new music community together: the music. When we refer to the new music community, we mean everyone from composers and interpreters to presenters, producers, die-hard fans, casual listeners, curious minds, and beyond. It is an ever expanding ecology that we want to nurture and help to grow further. When someone listens, recommends a favorite to a friend, creates or performs a new work, or maybe even commissions a new piece, the whole community is made stronger—and bigger. Our goal is for new music to reach new ears every day.

    We continue to provide over $1 million each year in grant support for the creation and performance of new work and community building throughout the country. The Music Alive Program, for which we partner with the League of American Orchestras, supports composer-in-residence positions in orchestras of all sizes. (More information on each of the residencies that we were taking place during 2018 can be accessed from the following link: New Music USA's Project Grants offer project-specific funding to individuals and organizations. In Spring 2018, we announced our eighth round of project grants awards, which totaled $530,000 in funding to support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music; the 108 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element. For further details, please see:

    As in previous years, our primary vehicle for amplifying the voice of the new music community is our web magazine NewMusicBox, which has been online since May 1999 ( Each month, NewMusicBox posts an extensive conversation with a major figure in the new music community. A complete transcript is accompanied with photos and a short audio-video presentation which combines quotes from the recorded conversation with excerpts of music that was either composed or performed (in some cases, both) by the person/group being featured. In 2018, we featured conversations with Jeanine Tesori, George Tsontakis, Bun-Ching Lam, Jane Ira Bloom, Scott Johnson, Milford Graves, Daria Semegen, Andy Akiho, Beth Anderson, Michael J. Schumacher, Barbara White, and the late Randy Weston, who sadly died only weeks after we spoke with him. The year 2018 marked the first time in the history of NewMusicBox that were able to have a complete 50%-50% gender parity among the people we featured. It is a goal we aspired to for many years and one that we hope to maintain going forward.

    In addition to these monthly long-form interviews, NewMusicBox publishes articles (both short and long) written by people who are part of the new music community and we aspire to present as many perspectives as possible. Here are a handful of articles that we were most proud of from 2018:

    Elizabeth A. Baker: "Ain't I a Woman Too" (published August 8, 2018)

    Katherine Bergman: "Stepping Forward at the Midwest Clinic" (published January 10, 2018)
    (NOTE: Katherine Bergman's wind band composition Dream Machine, which she promoted at the Midwest Clinic in 2017, was the work among New Music USA's WMD submissions that was chosen for performance during the 2019 ISCM World Music Days.)

    Patrick Castillo: "Help Me Help You: What Orchestra Managements Need from the New Music Community" (published November 17, 2018)

    James Chute: "Retaking the Stage: What Artists Can Be In Our Society" (published December 12, 2018)

    Emily Doolittle: "The Long-Term Effects of Gender Discriminatory Programming" (published June 27, 2018)
    (NOTE: A special app was created to go along with this article to enhance the user experience; this is something that would not have been possible in a print publication.)

    Anthony R. Green: "What the Optics of New Music Say to Black Composers" (published November 14, 2018)

    Chris Sivak: "The Secret Lives Of Composers Who Work In The Trades" (published October 24, 2018)

    In addition to our grantmaking programs and NewMusicBox, New Music USA provides an online home for composers to feature their own music ( and we also stream a wide-ranging catalog of new music around the clock on Counterstream Radio which is embedded throughout New Music USA's website (but it can also be directly accessed via the following URL:

    In May 2018, New Music USA's President and CEO Ed Harsh announced that he was stepping down. Since October 1, 2018, New Music USA's Development Director Deborah Steinglass has served as our Interim CEO.

  • Please describe your organization's research activities over the past year: 


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