tumblr page counter

Robert Aitken and Norma Beecroft, founding artistic directors


Brian Current named NMC co-artistic director

October 1, 2019

Announcing the Incoming Co-Artistic Director of New Music Concerts (NMC)

The Board of Directors of New Music Concerts (NMC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Brian Current as Co-Artistic Director of NMC. Together with NMC’s eminent Founding Artistic Director Robert Aitken, he will curate the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, the latter of which marks NMC’s 50
th anniversary. Brian is a nationally and internationally accomplished composer and conductor, who is deeply committed to emerging generations of composers, musicians and the diversity of voices in new music of the 21st century.

We are delighted to welcome Brian Current on board.  His new role begins immediately. He will be instrumental in leading NMC's transition to its next 50 years, ensuring that the organization remains at the cutting edge of contemporary chamber music, and that it continues in its tradition of bringing the best of Canadian young and established talent into dialogue with their colleagues around the globe.
I am tremendously excited to lead NMC into its next 50 years. I can’t wait to continue NMC’s vision of bringing the world’s most outstanding music to Toronto and creating the greatest performances in the context of our incredible 21st-century multicultural city.  Our mission is to inspire you – yes you! No matter what your background might be - by providing examples of musical courage and beauty from Canada and around the globe. BC
Brian Current has been widely acclaimed for leading exceptional performances of outstanding repertoire.  Passionate about detail of gesture, colour and texture, he is known for curating and conducting definitive and impactful performances of uncompromising music. He has conducted a wide range of repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries and has championed nearly one hundred works by Canadian composers including commissioned premieres by Linda Catlin Smith, Brian Harman, Christopher Mayo, Bekah Simms, So Jeong Ahn, Andrew Staniland, Alice Ho and many others.
Since 2007 he has led the outstanding graduate-level New Music Ensemble of The Glenn Gould School (The Royal Conservatory) and from 2012 has been the main conductor of Continuum Contemporary Music.  As conductor he has led dozens of organizations including The National Arts Centre Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and Symphony Nova Scotia.
Brian Current holds a PhD in music composition on full scholarship from the University of California (Berkeley) where he studied conducting and was assigned the direction of the UC Berkeley Summer Symphony.  In Royaumont, France he studied under new music conducting icon Péter Eötvös and continued his studies through The National Arts Centre conducting program with luminary Jorma Panula.
Brian Current is one of Canada’s most highly respected composers. His music has been programmed by all major professional orchestras in Canada and by dozens of symphony orchestras, opera companies and ensembles internationally. He has won numerous international prizes and his music has been broadcast in over 35 countries.

Please join the Board of Directors of New Music Concerts in welcoming Dr. Brian Current to the next chapter of Canada's pre-eminent contemporary chamber music organization.

The Board of Directors of New Music Concerts (NMC)
George Bulat, David Jaeger, Joe Macerollo, Timothy Moody, Chantal Perrot (Co-President), Doina Popescu (Co-President), Rick Sacks, Jeffrey Smyth

49th Season details

As it enters its 49th season, New Music Concerts (NMC) begins an exciting new era. Celebrated composer and conductor Brian Current comes on board as co-artistic director, alongside founder Robert Aitken, and Adam Scime steps in as the new general manager. These developments will ignite a period of innovation and growth as the organization boldly embarks into its second half century. The current season includes an exciting array of compelling concert experiences. Each concert offers a distinct way for audience members to explore the most powerful and enchanting repertoire of our time.

The 2019/20 season highlights include:

Kasemets@100 Nov. 12, 2019 @8pm in Walter Hall – A celebration of the eclectic Estonian-Canadian composer Udo Kasemets in collaboration with the University of Toronto and Ensemble U: from Tallinn, Estonia.

Aitken@80 Dec. 8, 2019 @8pm in St. George by the Grange – A concert of works by some of the world’s most recognized composers, including George Crumb and Elliott Carter, written especially for Robert Aitken. The concert also celebrates our founder in his 80th year.

The Mouths That Roar Jan. 10, 2020 @8pm in the Music Gallery – Montréal based composer Gabriel Dharmoo brings his acclaimed solo performance piece Anthropologies imaginaires and Friend of Canadian Music Award-winner Janice Jackson performs contemporary works for solo soprano.

Serious Smile Feb. 13, 2020 @8pm (Venue TBA) – Incoming artistic director Brian Current curates and conducts a show featuring composers Alexander Schubert, Keiko Devaux, Corie Rose Soumah and Brandon Chow in addition to a performance of the influential Chamber Concerto by Ligeti.

PEP Ensemble Mar. 26, 2020 @8pm in Trinity St. Paul’s Centre – Pianist Corey Hamm and erhu virtuoso Nicole Ge Li perform works created especially for their unique ensemble by a diversity of Canadian composers.

A Portrait of Matthias Pintscher May 31, 2020 @8pm in Trinity St. Paul’s Centre – The eminent composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher is featured as a guest artist to direct NMC players in a selection of works for large and small ensemble.

Subscribe now and save 25 percent! Call Adam at 416-961-9594 for subscription details (online subscription form to follow with full season announcement).

Full Season subscription includes six events $160 regular | $100 seniors/arts workers | $30 student
We look forward to seeing you during our 2019/20 season!

Robert Aitken, Brian Current, co-artistic directors
Adam Scime, general manager

49th Season preview

New Music Concerts (NMC) 49th Season preview

2019-2020 begins an exciting new adventure for New Music Concerts (NMC) as it embarks 49th season. Brian Current comes on board as co-artistic director with founder Robert Aitken and, along with new general manager Adam Scime, prepares to take us boldly into our second half century. Season highlights include: Kasemets@100, a celebration of Estonian-Canadian composer Udo Kasemets in cooperation with the University of Toronto, Nov. 12 at Walter Hall with Ensemble U from Tallinn. Aitken@80, features works written for our world-renowned flutist by a number of world-renowned composers including George Crumb and Elliott Carter, on Dec. 8 at St. George by the Grange. The Mouths That Roar features Gabriel Dharmoo’s solo performance piece Anthropologies imaginaires, and works for solo soprano performed by 2018 Friend of Canadian Music Award-winner Janice Jackson Jan. 10 at the Music Gallery at 918 Bathurst. Brian Current curates Serious Smile on Feb. 13 featuring works by György Ligeti, Alexander Schubert, Keiko Devaux, Corie Rose Soumah and Brandon Chow (venue to be confirmed). The PEP ensemble, pianist Corey Hamm and erhu virtuoso Nicole Ge Li, perform works created especially for their unique ensemble by a diversity of Canadian composers on Mar. 26 at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, and the season concludes at that same venue on May 31 with a portrait concert featuring renowned German composer/conductor Matthias Pintscher. Further details TBA.

Robert Aitken, Brian Current, co-artistic directors
Adam Scime, general manager

Adam Scime, incoming General Manager

Announcing the Incoming General Manager of New Music Concerts (NMC)

The Board of Directors of New Music Concerts (NMC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr.
Adam Scime as its incoming General Manager (GM). He will succeed David Olds, the 20 year GM of the organization, who is retiring as of September 2019. The Board wishes to thank David Olds wholeheartedly for his years of remarkable service and skillful dedication to NMC.

We are delighted to welcome Adam Scime on board. His tenure with NMC officially begins on September 3, 2019, just in time to manage our 2019/20 season. Adam is a musician, a composer, a scholar and someone deeply interested in and excited by the challenges of managing a ground-breaking music organization that has been a leader in contemporary music for close to 50 years. Adam will help realize NMC's transition to its next 50 years and help implement NMC's newly minted vision for the future.

"I am thrilled to become a part of an organization that has a rich history of championing many of Canada's most celebrated artists. I am also energized to be part of an organization as it enters a period of positive growth and innovation. As the new General Manager I am eager to implement new and exciting initiatives and to foster equitable and inclusive collaborative environments." — Adam Scime

As a composer, performer, and educator Adam Scime has been described as "a fantastic success" (CBC) and "astounding, the musical result was incredible" (icareifyoulisten.com). His work has been awarded and celebrated through the 2018 Land's End Composer Competition, the 2015 CMC Toronto Emerging Composer Award, The Karen Keiser Prize in Canadian Music, The SOCAN Awards for Young Composers, the ECM+ Generations Project, the Music Gallery's Emergent Series, in addition to numerous workshops, festivals, and tours around the globe. He continues to work with organizations like The Esprit Orchestra, Continuum Contemporary Music, Soundstreams, and FAWN Chamber Creative where he currently holds the position of Music Director. Adam recently completed his doctorate in musical arts from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing additional studies in Leadership and Impact in Non-Profit Organizations from UofT Continuing Studies, and a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from e-Comell.

Please join the Board of Directors of New Music Concerts in welcoming Dr. Adam Scime to the next chapter of Canada's pre-eminent contemporary chamber music organization. And please stay tuned for upcoming late-summer news on NMC's transition into an exciting future.

The Board of Directors of New Music Concerts (NMC): George Bulat, David Jaeger, Joe Macerollo, Timothy Moody, Chantal Perrot (Co-President), Doina Popescu (Co-President), Rick Sacks, Jeffrey Smyth.

Ana Sokolović: Evta Comes to Town

David Jaeger’s column in the May issue of The Wholenote, “Ana Sokolović: Evta Comes to Town” is available here

Coffee House 345

Wednesday June 15, 2016 at “Coffee House 345” 345 Sorauren Ave.
Doors Open 7:30 | First Set 8:00

Tickets are $50 (2 for $75) and include complimentary coffee, pastries, wine and cheese. Proceeds will benefit New Music Concerts,
with a charitable receipt for the CRA allowable portion. Call 416.961.9594 for reservations.

David Olds is known across Canada as a broadcaster, annotator and administrator specializing in contemporary music and its dissemination. In 1993, as a result of his work as producer and host of “Transfigured Night” at CKLN-FM, he was awarded the first Canadian League of Composers Award (now the Friends of Canadian Music Award) for his “exceptional commitment to Canadian Composers.” In 1999-2000 David produced “Canadian Currents” for the Canadian Music Centre, a series of 52 radio programs that aired on CJRT-FM. In addition to his duties as general manager of New Music Concerts (since 1999), he is the editor of DISCoveries, WholeNote magazine’s CD review section. David Olds was the convener of the Toronto Coalition of New Music Presenters (now the Toronto New Music Alliance) (2000-2007), is a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and the Canadian New Music Network, a voting member of both the Canadian Music Centre and the Music Gallery and from 2007-2009 he served on the Toronto Arts Council’s Music Committee.

Less well known are David’s activities as a musician in his own right. Since receiving his first guitar at age 11 he has gone on to build a repertoire of more than 500 songs drawn from the folk, pop, rock, blues, r&b and alternative traditions. He is also an accomplished amateur cellist and has played in a string quartet with friends for more than a decade with a repertoire spanning Mozart to Shostakovich. In recent years he has added mandolin and mandola to his collection of instruments, developing an interest in country and bluegrass music. In addition to several original compositions, David will sing a selection from the following:

Bob Dylan – You’re No Good; You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
Willie P. Bennett – Music in Your Eyes
Bruce Springsteen – Growin’ Up
Bridget Kearney – When I Grow Up
Paul Simon – Duncan
David Wiffen – Coast to Coast Fever
Loudon Wainwright III – School Days; I Haven’t Got the Blues (yet)
Allan Fraser and Daisy DeBolt – Pure Spring Water; Dance Hall Girls
Fred Neil – Dolphins
Elmo and Patsy – Grandma got run over by a Reindeer
Tim Buckley – Buzzin’ Fly; Strange Feeling
Tom Rush – No Regrets
Sy Potma – When I Was Young
Paul Quarrington – Am I Ready?
James Taylor – Bartender’s Blues
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Van Morrison - Moondance

David will be joined by musical friends Bob McNiven (with Howard Willett),
Sy Potma and David Perlman, who will perform songs from their own repertoires.
Complimentary refreshments generously provided by the New Music Concerts Board of Directors.

Robert Aitken flute recital Thursday April 7

Dear Friends,
I thought you might be interested in a recital tomorrow evening which features a different aspect of our multi-talented artistic director Robert Aitken. Although he continues his acclaimed international solo career performing repertoire spanning three centuries around the globe, we rarely have a chance to hear him featured in anything but contemporary repertoire here in Toronto. On Thursday at 7:30 in the Church of the Holy Trinity Bob and distinguished pianist William Aide will perform the inaugural recital featuring the church’s new Steinway piano. Here are the details:
Thursday April 7 at 7:30
Church of the Holy Trinity
Trinity Square (west side of the Eaton Centre)
$25 admission – proceeds will go toward the piano fund
Robert Aitken, flute
William Aide, piano
Eldin Burton – Sonatina (1948)
Three Schubert Song Transcriptions:
Schubert/Boehm - Gute Nacht ("Winterreise"); Die Taubenpost ("Schwanengesang"); Daniel Linton-France – Fantasy on Schubert's "Du bist die Ruh"
Frédéric Chopin – Ballade in F minor, Op. 52
William Aide "Quatrième Prélude" (poem)
Claude Debussy – "Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir”
Robert Aitken – Plainsong (1977; rev. 1980)
Max Meyer-Olbersleben – Fantasy-Sonata, Op. 17

Pierre Boulez 1925-2016

Dear Friends,

It is with sadness that we note the passing of one of contemporary music’s icons, composer, conductor and educator Pierre Boulez. His music was featured on our series a number of times over the years, beginning with the North American premiere of Messagesquisse back in 1979 with cello soloist Peter Schenkman under Bob Aitken’s direction in 1979. Marc Widner performed the Piano Sonata No.1 in 1986 and then in April 1991 Boulez’s close associate Jean-Pierre Drouet conducted our ensemble in Mémoriale with Bob as flute soloist. The following month we presented Boulez conducting the Ensemble InterContemporain in a concert at Roy Thomson Hall which included Le Marteau sans Maître and he also directed a workshop with our musicians at the Royal Conservatory. In 2002 when Boulez was awarded the sixth Glenn Gould Prize we had the privilege of performing the award presentation concert of seven seminal works all conducted by the master, including Messagesquisse, this time with Glenn Gould “Protégé” prize winner Jean-Guihen Queyras as the soloist. That occasion was a very special opportunity for our musicians, especially soloists Patricia Green, Fujiko Imajishi and Christina Petrowska Quilico. It was also a highlight of my time with New Music Concerts and I will always treasure the two days I got to spend as Mr. Boulez’s liaison in Toronto. There are many tributes appearing in the press and here are links to a few of the most notable, including an extended encomium by NY Times critic Paul Griffiths (who took part in our series last season).

The New York Times (Paul Griffiths)
The Washington Post (Tim Page)
The Globe and Mail (review of Boulez conducting the NMC ensemble by Robert Everett-Green from Nov. 26, 2002)
British Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Boulezian appreciation by Mark Berry

February 15, the Family Day Holiday Monday, New Music Concerts will present our tribute to the late master. Initially intended as a celebration of Boulez at 90, we will instead mark his passing in the best way we know how, by performing one of his later masterworks Sur Incises (1996/2006) for the amazing combination of 3 pianos, 3 harps and 3 percussion. Stephen Clarke, Gregory Oh, Wesley Chen, Erica Goodman, Sanya Eng, Angela Scharzkopf, Rick Sacks, Ryan Scott and David Schotzko are already hard at work preparing this stunning 40 minute work. The concert also includes the original solo piano work Incises from which the ensemble piece is derived performed by Simon Docking, and a new work for 18 musicians by Edmonton composer Howard Bashaw. It promises to be a memorable evening indeed and I hope to see you there.

David Olds
General Manager
New Music Concerts

Welcome to the 2015-2016 Season

Each year I approach this season’s greetings with apprehension as I am never quite sure where this little paragraph will take me. After 44 seasons, we can look back and attempt to assess what has been achieved and where we are going. As most of you know, I believe New Music Concerts should present challenging music. That means someone needs to be challenged – the composer, the performer or the listener, and hopefully all three. It also implies that “high art” is not just entertainment; there needs to be a deeper message. It’s our job to seek out these ideas, and in many cases, foster their development through commissions. We appreciate that our devoted audience understands what we are attempting and the risks involved. Thank you for undertaking this quest with us over the past four and a half decades. Please join us and be challenged.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Aitken, founding artistic director