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FIU NEW MUSIC MIAMI IS BREAKING MUSICAL BOUNDARIES

Written By Gina Margillo
January 24, 2024 at 10:31 PM

New Music Miami Festival 2024 Promotional Flyer

The FIU New Music Miami Festival, which runs from January 2024 through April 2024, celebrates 27 years of programming with nine, boundary breaking shows. The festival includes the presentation of music by composers and performers from around the world. Festival founder and composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia shared more about this extraordinary festival.

What exactly does the term “New Music” mean, you ask? Garcia explains that New Music was a term originally coined in the 1950s/60s by the New York School of Composers such as Cage, Feldman, Brown, Tudor, and Wolf, to differentiate experimental music from that of the modernist composers of the times.

He goes on to say, “The term has come to include music that was somehow influenced by their work. Today the term broadly describes ‘contemporary classical music,’ albeit the more experimental of the music in that genre.” To accentuate his point on the importance of New Music, Garcia adds, “This genre, by the way, is a category in the US and Latin Grammy Awards.”

As the programmer for the FIU New Music performances, Garcia explained his vision for the series has been to focus on works of contemporary classical music written primarily by living composers. He also selects works that are not typically programmed in South Florida. While the festival’s New Music may be unfamiliar to Miami listeners, Garcia says that, “As an educator, I have always tried to make the music accessible to the general public by presenting pre-concert talks and interaction with our guest composers and performers.”

The New Music Miami Festival began in 1993 as the May in Miami Music Festival, an annual, week-long event in collaboration with FIU and the New World Symphony Orchestra. In 1997, the festival expanded its scope to no longer include only young composers and master artists, but with a repertoire that included internationally acclaimed composers. In 2002, the festival became the New Music Miami, International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) Festival.  In 2009, the format changed to look more like the current program: an 8 – 12 concert festival spread out over 3 months, often featuring concerts for acoustic and electroacoustic instruments and video. Concert venues have included the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum, the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, Wolfsonian – FIU, the Miami Beach Urban Studios located on Lincoln Road, and the Wolfsonian.

In addition to championing music from the US, the festival has enabled composers and performers to present their work from countries such as Canada, Cuba, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Germany, England, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, and France. Garcia beams when he explains, “People comment that they are amazed that this music is presented here in Miami, when, typically, other major national and international cultural centers support this type of work. This makes me feel very proud to know that I have been part of the growth of the cultural sophistication that has evolved in South Florida over the last couple of decades.”

When asked about highlights for this season, Garcia provided these not-to-be-missed performances:

January: percussionist Al Cerulo offers an immersive evening of music for multiple instruments and electronics with works by Jude Traxler, Eve Beglarian, Mathew Rosenblum, and Paula Matthusen.

February: cellist Jason Calloway will perform with pianist Chen-Hui Jen, with electronics by Jacob Sudol.

March: Orlando Jacinto Garcia will present a 40-minute, site specific, spatial work, entitled, “Those at Peace Shall See Their Wake”, featuring members of the NODUS Ensemble.

April: Pulitzer Prize winning composer Raven Chacon will perform with the Amernet String Quartet, FIU’s resident string quartet.

For the full season lineup, visit carta.fiu.edu

When: Wednesdays, January 2024 through April 2024

Where: The Wolfsonian Museum 1001 Washington Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139

Time: Pre-concert discussion at 7:00pm. Performance at 7:30pm.

Cost: Free

For more information: nmmf.fiu.edu and music.fiu.edu/concerts

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