About New Music Chicago


NEW MUSIC CHICAGO (NMC) advocates for the importance of a vital, vibrant music scene in our city and its geographical region. We are a membership-based organization that supports a passionate and diverse network of composers, performers, and ensembles, serving over a hundreds emerging and established artists alike. By adopting an inclusive, non-intensive membership model for individual artists and ensembles, NMC affords its members, including students and established professionals, greater mobility and increased visibility and collaboration through aggregated promotions, showcases and festivals, and professional development. NMC aims to create inroads for these diverse practitioners to enter dialogue and gain perspective on the range of work being done in the field, to diversify audiences, and ultimately to rectify inequities perpetuated by stylistic or social identity bias. As a presenter, we feature our members with performance opportunities including the monthly New Music Chicago Presents series, Impromptu Fest, and composition competitions. Complementing this support of our members, NMC also serves as the sponsoring organization for the Ear Taxi Festival, a nationally recognized celebration of the Chicago contemporary music community.


New Music Chicago was originally founded in 1982, with a series presented by a group of local area composers and musicians to complement the national showcases organized by New Music America. “Music Mostly at Midnight” was organized by the young composer collective Kapture and attracted a large audience at CrossCurrents, a popular cabaret theater and venue in Lakeview. Kapture was then joined by Music Menta and the Marcel Duchamp Memorial Players to found New Music Chicago, bringing the community together and publicizing new music events with subsequent festivals and calls for scores.

In 2005, following a period of inactivity, several new music ensembles, composers and teaching venues re-incorporated New Music Chicago as it currently exists. Since then, NMC has maintained a significant history of presenting and facilitating festivals, series, and one-off programs featuring members’ work: In September of 2006, NMC presented Sonic Impact at the Museum of Contemporary Arts featuring all member ensembles. In 2011, several NMC member groups co-presented “In C” by Terry Riley at Millenium Park. And in 2015, NMC highlighted its 10th anniversary with a collaborative performance of John Luther Adams’ “Inuksuit”.

In 2016, NMC served as the partner and fiscal sponsor for the Ear Taxi Festival, which united 350+ musicians to offer 54 world premieres over six days of concerts, as well as lectures and sound installations. The second edition of the Ear Taxi Festival in October 2021 featured approximately 600 Chicago artists reaching estimated audiences of more than 10,000 through in-person and live-streamed performances, workshops, and receptions.

In 2018 NMC sponsored Impromptu Fest at the Chopin Theater, an eight-concert downtown series featuring NMC members; subsequent Impromptu Fests in 2019, 2021, and 2023 saw the festival increase its geographic and stylistic reach throughout the city, featuring a growing roster of NMC members and collaborative partnerships with new venues including Guaneri Hall, Nevermore Theater, Elastic Arts, High Concept Labs, and the Epiphany Center for the Arts.

2019 saw the launch of the ongoing free, monthly NMC Presents series at the Chicago Cultural Center, which continues into the present at the renowned Experimental Sound Studio as a livestream hybrid concert program.

In 2020 NMC celebrated its 15th anniversary at Epiphany Center for the Arts with a livestreamed concert demonstrating the organization’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As these programs continue and grow, including and plans for a third Ear Taxi Festival in 2025, New Music Chicago stands as a unique resource fostering the vital, cooperative spirit of contemporary classical and experimental music in Chicago.

For more information on on becoming a member of NMC, click here

New Music Chicago does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in admission or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities.

Board of Directors

Xavier Beteta (Vice President, communications@nullnewmusicchicago.org)
Nicholas Carlson
Shi-An Costello (Secretary, secretary@nullnewmusicchicago.org)
Adam Kennaugh
Marc Mellits (Membership Coordinator, membership@nullnewmusicchicago.org)
Tricia Park
Marianne Parker
Laura Perkett (Treasurer, treasurer@nullnewmusicchicago.org)
William Jason Raynovich
Amy Wurtz
Ben Zucker (President, president@nullnewmusicchicago.org)