Issue #43

Last Update December 24, 2005

Arts Nurturing New Music by Stephen Leibholz  Music, easily the most abstract of all the arts, has a long history of synergistic contributions to the art by conservatory-trained composers, musicians, dancers, and especially talented students of the art—as well as by trained amateur composers who also are mathematicians, scientists, and professionals from many other fields.

The New York Composers Circle (NYCC) is a professional, artistic, and educational institution of people with a common aim and divergent talents and experience, focused on creating and performing new music. Many genres of serious music are represented, from chamber works to orchestral, jazz, art songs, scenes of new operas, dance works and multimedia works.

The mission of NYCC is unique in New York: to bring together diverse multitalented professionals with a common goal: to foster and provide a forum for new music and related multidisciplinary art forms; creating the collaboration and interaction needed to develop and perform new music and new genres of music in a professional,  interdisciplinary and collaborative environment. Many forms of serious music are presented, from chamber works to orchestral, art songs, snatches of new operas, dance works and the musical elements of multimedia works. The group  also attracts performers who wish to play new music, who have become  members and are publicly performing members’ works.

NYCC is the only active organization in New York City where composers, musicians, dancers, and invitees meet in monthly symposia to “test fly” their finished works and works in progress, in a collaborative, nonjudgmental environment,  and discuss these offerings. 

The Circle also holds periodic interactive public “readings” of recently-completed works by professional musicians, an important opportunity for composers to test and refine their works before they are published or publicly performed. The Circle thus also attracts performers who wish to play new music, who have become  members and are publicly performing members’ works.

NYCC is open to people from all fields and all stages of musical development, asking only that they share the common goal and a willingness to contribute to its mission.

The organization presents two concerts of members’ works  each season, all of which so far have been very well attended.  Esteemed composers associated with NYCC whose works have been widely performed include Tanya León, Ezra Laderman, Juan de Clef Piniero and Stanley Grill.

One instance of NYCC’s  rôle in fostering new music: Recently Sung Jin Hong, Music Director of the One World Symphony (OWS), was invited to an NYCC symposium. As a result of that meeting, Stanley Grill (above) subsequently became Composer-in-Residence with One World, and has three works programmed for the 2004-05 season. OWS premiered Grill's "The Invisible Ballet" in October, will premiere a song cycle for cellos and voices on December 2-3, 2004, and a major work for soprano and string orchestra in February 2005 (

People interested in learning more about NYCC, or in attending concerts, readings or monthly symposia should contact Debra Kaye, Executive Director, at (212) 932-1376, or at


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