The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble strives to present compelling and memorable performances of contemporary music by: giving world-class performances, commissioning and premiering new works by living artists, disseminating and promoting new works beyond their premieres through recording and touring, constantly reexamining and exploring the way in which new music is presented, playing a leading role in creating and expanding a progressive arts community.
The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME) was founded by composer David Stock in 1976, and since then has commissioned and premiered over 200 works by composers including established masters like John Cage, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Michael Daugherty and David Lang, and emerging voices like Derek Bermel, Pierre Jalbert and Kevin Puts. Current Artistic Director Kevin Noe assumed that post in 2000 and implemented a new artistic vision that completely transformed the company. Today’s PNME is a fixed ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion and bass-baritone voice) of artists from around the world, chosen through a rigorous audition process, who perform a summer festival season at City Theatre in Pittsburgh’s vibrant South Side neighborhood. This format has resulted in radical improvements in critical response and an amazing 600% increase in audience since 2002.
Currently PNME produces 8 concerts each year in Pittsburgh featuring existing contemporary works and new commissions; produces educational programs that provide opportunities to increase knowledge and appreciation of contemporary music; produces recordings of contemporary music; and tours concerts of contemporary music both nationally and abroad. Recent highlights include:
- Top Ten Classical Events of the Year (2005-11): our concert series has made this list from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in each of the last seven years.
- National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces program (2009-10): The NEA’s highly competitive American Masterpieces program paired leading American musicians with recognized masterpieces by American composers.
- Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Work of Art Awards Nominees for “Best Management” and “People’s Choice”: we were one of only two organizations to receive nominations in more than one category in 2009. We are most proud of the “People’s Choice” nomination, as it comes directly from Pittsburgh audiences.
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2008): a 17-show tour to Scotland of our original production Just Out of Reach, which earned a coveted Total Theatre Award nomination from Edinburgh critics.
- Against The Emptiness Recording (2009): Our second commercial release features works commissioned by our organization from composers Ryan Francis, Kevin Puts and Pierre Jalbert. The Post-Gazette gave it 3 1/2 stars out of 4 and wrote: “While this disc will be justly celebrated for the first commercial recording of Kevin Puts' expansive Einstein on Mercer Street, its other works shine, too.” ~ (Andrew Druckenbrod, Post-Gazette, July 30, 2009).
- Night Music Recording (2007): This recording features works commissioned by our organization from composers Kieren MacMillan and Thomas Albert. The success of this release prompted us to release a second recording in 2009.