Free two-day music conference

Professional musicians and music students are encouraged to attend a free two-day Northwestern University conference and festival, April 26 and April 27, for composers, performers, theorists and musicologists specializing in new music. Two related ticketed concerts have general public appeal.

Presented by the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music and the Institute for New Music, the Northwestern University New Music Conference  (NUNC) will take place at various locations on the University’s Evanston campus.

Concert ticket prices are indicated in two ranges: the first for the general public and the second for full-time students with IDs. Northwestern faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price.

For a complete schedule of events or to register for the conference, visit here.


• The conference welcome address will take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26 in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

• Guest artists and faculty participants will host workshops, performance forums, lessons, coaching, master classes, roundtable discussions and presentations from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, in various locations on the Evanston campus. These events are free and open to the public. Conference highlights include workshop performances by visiting artists. Free performances by Ensemble Dal Niente at noon Saturday, April 26, and the Mivos Quartet at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 27, will each take place in the Pick-Staiger Rehearsal Room, accessible via the south entrance.

• Pianist Nicolas Hodges, the Mivos Quartet and more will perform the U.S. premieres of contemporary works and new music by NUNC participants at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Devoted to performing the music of contemporary composers, the Mivos Quartet has appeared at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, Wien Modern, Edgefest and Aldeburgh Music. Pianist Nicolas Hodges has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras and has given recitals at Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Paris’ IRCAM. Hodges will perform Brice Pauset’s “Sept Canons” and “Neuf Canons” as well as the U.S. premieres of Beat Furrer’s “Studie,” Brian Ferneyhough’s “Quirl — Study in Self-Similar Rhythms,” and Rebecca Saunders’ “shadow — study for solo piano.” The Mivos Quartet will perform Alex Mincek’s String Quartet No. 3 and music submitted by NUNC Conference participants. Also on the program are Yuan-Chen Li’s “Spell” for solo alto saxophone and M. Matthias Krueger’s “a portee de souffle.” Performers will include saxophone soloist Timothy McAllister and the Northwestern Graduate Saxophone Quartet.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

• Ensemble Dal Niente, the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Quince Vocal Quartet will close the festival with a program of new works at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. In 2012, the Chicago-based contemporary music collective Ensemble Dal Niente became the first-ever ensemble recipient of the Kranichstein Music Prize at the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. The group has commissioned or premiered hundreds of works by composers, including Brian Ferneyhough, Kaija Saariaho, Marcos Balter and Bienen School faculty members Hans Thomalla, Lee Hyla and Jay Alan Yim. The contemporary female a cappella quartet Quince  regularly commissions new works and has appeared on New York’s Contagious Sounds series, a.per.io.dic’s John Cage Festival in Chicago and Brooklyn’s ISSUE Project Room. Also featuring the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, the program includes Brian Ferneyhough’s “Flurries” and music submitted by NUNC participants, including Sabrina Schroeder, Colin Tucker, Joan Pamies and Yair Klartag. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students with valid IDs.

For more information on the concerts, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall office at (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets, call (847) 467-4000 or visit www.pickstaiger.org

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