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.
Rothko Chapel: The beloved cantata by Morton Feldman, performed with soloists from the Pittsburgh Opera (soprano) and the Pittsburgh Symphony (viola), along with percussion legends Jan Williams and Allen Otte.
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.
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.
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 / Spokes
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.
Local virtuoso cellists get together for a performance of Pierre Boulez's scintillating Messagesquisse for seven cellos.
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.
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 9/9, 2:30pm. Rothko Chapel, To the Earth, and Surround.
Saturday 9/15, 4pm ~ 6pm ~ 8pm. Feathermucker, Mariel Roberts, and the segments of the "Pittsburgh Soundpike," featuring local and guest soloists and ensembles.
Thursday 9/22, 7:30pm. Messagesquisse, works by Sean Shepherd and Marilyn Shrude (new commission), and P.M. Davies' Eigth Songs for a Mad King.
Sunday 9/2, 10am. Bikes and Spokes, for bicyclists and their bells.
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.