Founded in 2005 to serve the growing community of ensembles, organizations, and composers involved in contemporary music, New Music Chicago is a membership organization that supports and advances the city’s robust cultural scene with resources for artists, composers, and audiences.
From inception, the New Music Chicago Calendar provided information on public contemporary music performances and allowed ensembles to share and grow, rather than compete for, audiences. Originally printed, the calendar has been exclusively online since 2015. NMC maintains a website comprising the calendar and its member profiles, as well as a Facebook page and a monthly e-newsletter. NMC has offered a series of “best practice” meetings for young ensembles and monthly New Music happy hours, providing opportunities for learning as well as valuable networking events.
In 2006, NMC organized Sonic Impact, a two-day festival in the Museum of Contemporary Art. NMC hosted free showcases at the downtown Chicago Cultural Center in 2007 and 2008 and returns to the CCC in 2019 with a new series of free monthly lunchtime concerts.
In summer 2011, NMC ensembles collaborated to present a giant performance of Terry Riley’s In C in Millennium Park, followed the next summer by a collaborative performance on John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit and a collaborative event in 2015 in celebration of NMC’s 10th anniversary. In 2016 NMC served as the partner and fiscal sponsor of Ear Taxi Festival/Chicago Festival of New Music which celebrated contemporary music in Chicago with 350+ musicians and 54 world premieres over six days of concerts, as well as lectures, sound installations, and artist receptions. In February 2018 NMC sponsored the Impromptu Festival comprising eight performances; Impromptu Fest will be reprised in March 2019.
In its second decade, New Music Chicago stands as a unique resource in the U.S., fostering the vital, positive, and cooperative spirit of contemporary classical music in Chicago.