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Robert Aitken, artistic director


Next Event:
Wednesday June 15, 2016

Coffee House 345

Dear Friends,

Although you may know me as simply the administrator of New Music Concerts who sends annoying emails (no, I mean interesting and informative newsletters about our concerts), my interests and accomplishments span a broader spectrum as those of you who also know me as the CD review editor of WholeNote magazine may have some inkling. I am writing to say that New Music Concerts has been very good to me over the past decade and a half and this year I have decided it’s time to “pay it back.” I’m hoping you’ll be curious enough to come and find out what this “other side of me” is all about. On
Wednesday June 15th I will be hosting “Coffee House 345” and show-casing some of the songs I’ve written and collected over the past half century (can it really be that long???). I hope you will indulge me as I step into the spotlight and come out for an evening of folky “art song.” Of course I’ll have a little professional help from my friends too! You’ll find details in the preview below (except the time: Doors open at 7:30 with the first set at 8:00). I look forward to seeing you there!

David Olds
General Manager (chief cook and bottle washer)
New Music Concerts



New Music Concerts 2015-2016 Season

Saturday October 17 - Turning Point Ensemble
at Betty Oliphant Theatre
Sunday November 8, 2015 - R. Murray Schafer Benefit Evening
at Gallery 345 (non-subscription event)
Sunday December 6, 2015 - Portrait of Philippe Leroux
at Betty Oliphant Theatre
Thursday January 14, 2016 - JACK Quartet
at Jane Mallett Theatre
Monday February 15, 2016 - Boulez and Bashaw
at Betty Oliphant Theatre
Sunday March 13, 2016 - Quasar Saxophone Quartet
at The Music Gallery
Sunday April 3, 2016 - Viva Electronica
at Betty Oliphant Theatre
Sunday April 24, 2016 - Flutes Galore!
at Saint Luke’s United Church


New Music Concerts has enjoyed a leadership role in Toronto’s new music scene throughout its history. Founded in 1971 by internationally acclaimed Canadian musicians Robert Aitken and Norma Beecroft, NMC presented its first concert in January 1972 with guest composer/conductor Luciano Berio. Since that time most of the world’s renowned composers including John Adams, Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Peter Maxwell Davies, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Heinz Holliger, Maurizio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Toru Takemitsu, Iannis Xenakis, Walter Zimmermann and, early in their careers, rising stars like Tan Dun, Toshio Hosokawa, Jörg Widmann and Raminta Serksnyte, have come to Toronto at NMC’s invitation. Our strong support of Canadian composers through commissions and performances and by combining them with international artists has promoted their success. A short list of some of our most notable Canadian commissions includes Claude Vivier’s Zipangu, Barbara Pentland’s Eventa, Harry Somer’s Chura Churum, John Beckwith’s Eureka, Harry Freedman’s Strands of Blue, Alexina Louie’s Sanctuary, John Weinzweig’s Prisoner of Conscience, Bruce Mather’s Ausone, Gilles Tremblay’s Triojubilus, plus Omar Daniel’s Zwei Lieder nach Rilke and Chris Paul Harman’s Amerika both of which went on to win the Jules Léger Prize.

Since its inception NMC has presented nearly 400 concerts, commissioned more than 130 Canadian and international works and performed some 700 Canadian and world premieres. As English Canada's senior contemporary music society, NMC's prime activity is producing high calibre concerts of contemporary music, but our activities have included a very broad range of presentation from contemporary classics, to electroacoustics, mixed- and multi-media presentations, sound sculpture, radiophonic works, films and music theatre (including world premiere performances of R. Murray Schafer’s Princess of the Stars on Heart Lake in 1981 and the North American premieres of John Cage’s Roaratorio at Convocation Hall and Thorkell Sigurbjornsson’s Grettir at the Betty Oliphant Theatre). Current programs reflect the ongoing concern to balance all aspects of our mandate to profile established and emerging Canadian and international composers.

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