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Our Mission

The Boston New Music Initiative, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on establishing, maintaining, and developing an international network of contemporary music champions, performers, conductors, directors, and composers of music so as to foster collaborations, new music concerts, and commissions in the music industry. The organization's mission is to advance the careers of its members in the field of music by serving as a resource for networking, professional development, commissioning, collaboration, and programming.     

In its first twelve concert seasons, BNMI has performed the works of over 220 living composers, including 59 world premieres and seven commissioned works. In an ongoing effort to recognize, perform, and create new repertoire for the concert hall and beyond, BNMI holds a commissioning competition, a young composers competition, and two international calls for scores each season, with the winning composers programmed on future BNMI seasons.


The idea behind BNMI began in the summer of 2009 in response to our belief that the market for new classical art music has been growing, yet the opportunity to perform such music has been relatively limited. The organization was formed by alumni from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Iowa to establish an international network that promotes the creation and performance of new music by providing various opportunities for musicians and composers. After an almost-overwhelming response to our first Call for Scores in December 2009, we held our inaugural concert in February of 2010, which was a tremendous success and was followed by equally successful concerts in April and June.  Now entering our ninth season, we continue to seek new ways to engage the community and promote the music of our time.


Networking and Professional Development

In 2012, BNMI launched an online membership service for the local and international new music communities. Features include members-only events, discounted concert tickets and submissions to BNMI's calls for scores, searchable membership profiles, discussion boards, professional opportunities listings, and an archive of past professional development events. In 2013, BNMI began producing a quarterly podcast series for its full members which addressed relevant industry trends and topics.  In addition, the organization aims to host a series of live seminars, master classes, and social outings to be held throughout each season.  Click here to learn more about membership.


BNMI offers annual calls for scores, with the selected works presented throughout BNMI’s Concert Series. We held our first commissioning competition in 2011 and continue to host this competition annually each fall, with the 5th annual competition currently open for submissions.  

Past winners:

  • Panayiotis Kokoras, Ghost Notes (premiere: April 27, 2013, conductor: Steven Lipsitt)
  • Nicola Straffelini, Labyrinth Song (premiere: April 16, 2015, conductor: Patrick Valentino)
  • Travis Alford, Altered States (premiere: April 16, 2016, conductor: Patrick Valentino)
  • Lonnie Hevia, After the Rain (premiere: April 22, 2017, conductor: Patrick Valentino)
  • Charles Peck, Kindling (premiere: April 6, 2018, conductor: Yuga Cohler)
  • Alex Berko, Living in Color (premiere: April 7, 2019, conductor: Tian Hui Ng)
  • Andrew Davis, On the Nature of Things (premiere: June 4 & 5, 2022, conductor: Raymond E. Fahrner)
  • Paul Novak, Prisms and Mirrors (premiere scheduled for June 19, 2021, conductor: Tian Hui Ng)
  • Ania Vu, Strange Birds (premiere: June 4 & 5, 2022, conductor: Matthew Scinto)

Young Composers

BNMI has remained committed to supporting its members at all stages of their musical careers, including young composers.  In 2011, BNMI collaborated with the American Festival for the Arts in Houston, Texas to award Thomas Sturm the BNMI/AFA Composition Prize for Young Composers, and his piece, Creatio ex Nihilo, was performed by BNMI in June 2011.  In 2015, BNMI formalized its commitment to young composers with its first annual Young Composers Competition (YCC).  

Past winners:

  • 2015 Trey Makler, Sonette an Orpheus
  • 2016 Aaron Mencher, Uncertainly Yours
  • 2017 Steven Gudino, The Blonde Moon Whispers
  • 2018 Cheng Jin Koh, Kuda Kepang
  • 2019 Christian Quiñones, What My Mother Wrote
  • 2020 Benjamin Beckman, light pours through the quiet interstices and we measure this transient world
  • 2021 Madeline Barrett, The Flowers That Close at Night


In addition to working with many talented individual performers and ensembles as part of BNMI's concert series, the organization's scope has extended throughout New England through its participation in events outside of the concert series.  BNMI's core ensemble has performed and participated in each of the first two years of the PARMA Music Festival held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in August, and in the Westfield Festival of New Music in March 2014 at Westfield State University. Plans for participation in upcoming and future festivals and residencies are already underway, as BNMI seeks to continue expanding its mission and activities to new audiences throughout the region and beyond.

In 2016, BNMI also spearheaded the Core+ program, which allows composers to submit to our Calls for Scores works not only for our core ensemble, but also for a special artistic partnership. These collaborations rotate each year, so BNMI is always exploring the nexus of music and other artistic disciplines. Season 8 showed the first fruits of this program when BNMI partnered with Luminarium Dance Company to present some winning scores with original choreography created just for these performances. The Core+ collaboration for Season 9 concluded recently with its presentation of "Opera Bites" in collaboration with Boston Opera Collective and Longy School of Music. Season 10 featured a collaboration with New England visual artists., and Season 13 will feature a collaboration and joint commission with the Cambridge Chamber Singers.

Concert Series

Boasting over 40 concerts and almost 300 performed works by at least 200 different composers through its first twelve seasons, BNMI’s Concert Series engages with a variety of Boston-area performance venues to showcase vocal, chamber, electroacoustic, and multimedia works. Many of the works featured in our seasons are chosen from our international calls for scores and represent the stylistic breadth and richness of new music today. BNMI features a significant number of guest artists, consisting of some of today's most exciting young performers within the Boston area.

©#### The Boston New Music Initiative, Inc.
P.O. Box 400420 Cambridge, MA 02140