Headlining Acts →

The PFNM has a tradition of presenting seminal works of the modern repertory: past editions have presented Luciano Berio's Folksongs, Steve Reich's Different Trains, and Frederic Rzewski's Fall of the Empire.

Eight Songs for a Mad King

Eight Songs for a Mad King: The landmark monodrama on words of George III, by British composer Peter Maxwell Davies. Performed by notorious vocalist-composer Paul Pinto and New York's Tenth Intervention.

Jan Williams, percussion

Jan Williams, percussion: Dedicatee of Frederic Rzewski's landmark solo percussion work To the Earth, presents his version for the piece for Pittsburgh audiences.vo Matamoros, Ryan Macmasters.

Surround, for six harps

Surround: A piece for six harps surrounding the audience. Written by Festival Director Federico Garcia de Castro.

Guest acts →

Guests in 2016 included world-renowned soprano Tony Arnold and percussion legend Allen Otte. In 2014, the PFNM presented the Pittsburgh debut of eminent pianist-composer Frederic Rzewski, as well as a performance by the Bugallo-Williams piano duo.

Marilyn Shrude, composer

Festival soloists perform solo works by the esteemed American composer and new music leader Marilyn Shrude, and Alia Musica premieres her new quintet, commissioned for the PFNM.

Nimikry Contemporary Pop Duo (Italy)

Using classical instruments and reinventing them with the use of technology, Nimikry presents multifaceted performances. It’s musical project involves different disciplines and combines them in a new format: from concert to performance, from generative environment to sound sculptures, from live-set to artistic remix.

The Dream Songs Project

Minnesotta-based voice and guitar duo dreamSong Project performs Ted Moore's Feathermucker (mezzo-soprano, guitar, and electronics) with the composer.

Mariel Roberts, cello

Famed Mivos Quartet's cellist Mariel Roberts performs the principal part in Boulez's Messagesquisse, as well as her touring repertory and solo works by Pittsburgh composers.

Jan Williams, percussion

Legendary percussionist Jan Williams, dedicatee of Frederic Rzewski's landmark solo percussion work To the Earth, presents his version for the piece for Pittsburgh audiences.

Outdoor and roving →

Previous PFNMs have featured J.L. Adams' "Inuksuit" (67 percussionists at Lake Elizabeth), a roving adaptation of Robert Ashley's TV Opera "Perfect Lives," and the flashmob of Stravinsky's "Firebird" in Market Square..

Blink and Spokes, two works for moving bicyclists and their bells, were created by Merche Blasco (Barcelona/New York) and Nissim Schaul (Raleigh/Paris). PFNM 2018 produces their Pittsburgh premiere in partnership with Bike Pittsburgh.

Sequenza pop-up series

Members of Pittsburgh-based ensemble NAT 28 perform several of the Sequenzas, Luciano Berio's virtuoso works for solo instrument, for incidental audiences at cafes, museums, and other nontraditional venues.

Local Acts →

Conceived for the first edition of the PFNM and continued in 2016, the Pittsburgh Soundpike is a unique event that encourages discovery and cross pollination. Local ensembles (from CAPA's highschool new music ensemble to professional initiatives) alternate numbers in a showcase of Pittsburgh's most active new music artists.

Boulez's Messagesquisse

Local virtuoso cellists get together for a performance of Pierre Boulez's scintillating Messagesquisse for seven cellos.

Season kick-offs

Pittsburgh new music ensembles and artists — including CAPA high school's new music ensemble Antithesis — kick off 2018–19 with their appearance at PFNM.


Surround, a work for 6 harps placed around the audience, composed by Festival Director Federico Garcia-De Castro.

Ben Barson & Ben Opie

Pittsburgh's premiere jazz and experimental saxophonists Ben Barson and Ben Opie perform solo numbers and with the Pittsburgh Saxophone Quintet.

Schedule →

The PFNM 2018 is scheduled through the month of September 2018, with theater events at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters and non-traditional events throughout the city. Click on the section title for more details.

Sunday 9/2, 10am. Bikes and Spokes, for bicyclists and their bells.

Sunday 9/9, 2:30pm. To the Earth, and Surround.

Saturday 9/15, 4pm ~ 6pm ~ 8pm. Nimikry (Italy), Feathermucker, and the segments of the "Pittsburgh Soundpike," featuring local and guest soloists and ensembles.

Thursday 9/20, 7:30pm. P.M. Davies' Eigth Songs for a Mad King. Alia Musica featuring Marylin Schrude, Christiane Leach, and Amand Story Lewis.

Various dates and times. Sequenza pop-up series at museums, galleries, libraries, and coffee shops.

Budget Information →

The full production of the PFNM 2018 has an estimated cost of $69,500. Contingent plans accommodate a lean version for $48,000.

Alia Musica has secured $31,800 for the PFNM (coming from general support from individuals, the Heinz Endowments, and the Opportunity Fund).

The organization is in the process of raising the remaining $16,200–$37,700. Click on the section title for more detail.

Cost range: $45,000—$65,000

The estimated cost range of the PFNM 2018 goes from $48,000 to a full production for $69,500. Support has been confirmed to date from The Opportunity Fund, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and The Heinz Endowments, for a total $31,800.

Proposals currently under review:

  • National Endowment for the Arts: $23,210.
  • New Music USA: $7,305.
  • PNC Trust Fund: $14,280.

Current revenue estimated range: $27,500—$55,000**

Further inquiries for funding will be made to:

  • Fine Foundation
  • Regional Asset District (general operations)

Earned revenue in ticket, merchandise, and ad sales, is estimated at $3,000–$4,000.