Virtual Showcase

What does diversifying new music sound like?

As part of the conference, we invited Boston-based musicians to submit vidoes of projects that demonstrate a diversification along ethnic and/or cultural lines in the new music canon for this virtual showcase. When available videos from Ensemble Recherche's A Postcolonial Recherche project will be added.

Castle of our Skins

Trevor Weston
Gabriela Diaz, violin
Mina Lavcheva, violin
Ashleigh Gordon, viola
Francesca McNeeley, cello

This live performance by members of Castle of our Skins (a concert and educational series decided to celebrating Black artistry through music) highlights the expressive-narrative quality of composer Trevor Weston. Of the work, Weston notes that "Juba for String Quartet honors the lives and contributions of African and African American forced laborers who cultivated various crops during slavery. The work makes a musical journey from Africa to the United States through traditional African music and traditional folk music by African Americans: fiddle music, Long-meter hymns and Gullah music. The physical contributions by the aforementioned laborers are often forgotten. Similarly, the musical contributions of African Americans are often unmarked and forgotten although the world enjoys these contributions daily. Juba for String Quartet employs traditional performance practices from the African American Musical tradition. Some of these musical gestures might sound familiar although they are not always associated with the Black community. This work highlights the musical contributions by African Americans and celebrates the lives of those who helped create our American economy, industry, and culture."


Catalyst New Music

This Is Not That Dawn
music and libretto by Omar Najmi
Brendon Shapiro, Conductor
Samina Aslam - Manju
Amanda Densmoor - Meera
Francesca Mehrotra - Anitha
Omar Najmi - Bilal
Nicholas LaGesse - Raaj
Amal El-Shrafi - Laranya

Catalyst New Music exists to catalyze the creation, development, and performance of innovative new works that push the boundaries of what classical music is, what it can achieve, and what it can communicate in a meaningful way with diverse audiences. This video is a selection of highlights from the workshop of composer/librettist Omar Najmi's new opera This Is Not That Dawn, an intergenerational drama set during and after the Partition of India. We have decided to highlight this performance because it tackles two sides of diversity in music: diversity of our performers, as represented by our cast of Asian, MENA, and Black singers, and a subject matter dealing with themes of colonialism, and identity in the South Asian diaspora.


Chameleon Arts Ensemble

William Grant Still
Summerland for flute and piano
Deborah Boldin, flute
Mika Sasaki, piano

Founded in 1998, Chameleon Arts Ensemble’s mission is to present the highest quality chamber music performances, to foster an understanding and appreciation of the art form through imaginative and adventurous programs, and to infuse a public-spirited sensibility in all that we do to make classical music available, understandable, and accessible for audiences throughout the Boston area.

William Grant Still (1895-1978) was known in his lifetime as the “Dean of African American Composers.” Summerland for flute and piano is an arrangement of the second movement of his Three Visions for solo piano, written in 1936 for his wife Verna Arvey. A sense of timelessness and tangible connections to our shared humanity and vulnerability pervades the music as Still imagines the soul after death, reuniting with loved ones in paradise.


Guerilla Opera

SALT: Final Aria
Written by Deniz Khateri
Music and sound design by Bahar Royaee
Aliana de la Guardia, voice

GO is Boston's only experimental chamber opera ensemble, and one of only a few in the world that focuses exclusively on presenting new works of opera theater. We are storytellers focused on sharing the voices of those often silenced by mainstream opera. Creating safe spaces for our communities' diverse perspectives and identities, we provide profound artistic experiences and educational opportunities for our live audiences as well as for our worldwide virtual audiences and artist community. We are diverse, LGBTQ+, women-led, and immigrants ourselves and strive to present a repertoire that reflects our demographic and the demographics of the worldwide communities we serve.


Hub New Music

Nina C. Young
"Genre Riot" from "to hear the things we cannot see"
Michael Avitabile, flutes
Gleb Kanasevich, clarinets
Meg Rohrer, violin/viola)
Jesse Christeson, cello

Called “contemporary chamber trailblazers” by the Boston Globe, Hub New Music is a “nimble quartet of winds and strings” (NPR) forging new paths in 21st-century repertoire. The ensemble’s ambitious commissioning projects and “appealing programs” (New Yorker) celebrate the rich diversity of today’s classical music landscape. "to hear the things we cannot see" by Nina C. Young features the poetry of Rosie Stockton, a non-binary LA-based poet whose featured collection, Permanent Volta, comments on capitalism through the lens of queer love poems. You'll hear Rosie reading their poetry in the electronics of Nina's piece. 


New Gallery Concert Series

Bahar Royaee
Ezdeham​ (2019)
Text by ​Forugh Farrokhzad
Visual art by Sheila Gallagher
Deniz Khateri, vocals
Bahar Royaee, instrumentals & electronic​s

The New Gallery Concert Series (NewGal) presents new pieces of music and visual art, along with the composers and artists who create them. NewGal is a small but solid organization committed to presenting the NOW, with all participants alive, inspired, and curious.  While our programs include care-free and joyful moments, we, as an organization, absolutely recognize our platform’s responsibility to confront relevant subjects that impact our entire society in hopes of making progressive change.
The piece, "Ezdeham," addresses a feminine perspective of the struggle of immigration. The music, originally written for Khateri's animation "Diasporan," is specifically about the experience of young women coming to America from Iran.


Semiosis Quartet

Shelley Washington: Say
For String Quartet using Voice + Body Percussion
Nicole Parks, violin
Teagan Faran, violin
Lauren Nelson, viola
Lev Mamuya, cello

Semiosis Quartet’s mission is to collaboratively create experiences for the public that challenge perceived norms in classical music and promote conversation and reflection along with finding new ways to engage with learners of all ages. We commit to collaborating with artists and programming repertoire that promotes voices of people from diverse ethnicities, nationalities, gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, compositional styles, and more.


Winsor Music

David Coleman
Sonata con Fusion
Gabriela Díaz, violin
David Coleman, piano

The mission of Winsor Music is to build community through extraordinary musical experiences that champion diverse voices. In the fall of 2021, we highlighted the many talents of local favorite pianist and composer David Coleman. Coleman is a Boston-based composer, educator, music director, and speaker specializing in multiple genres of music – classical, gospel, choral, pop, rhythm & blues, hip-hop, and musical theater – as well as leadership efforts in DEI work at the academic and artistic institutions where he works. In the last movement of his three movement Sonata Con Fusion for violin and piano , Coleman references the hip hop group Public Enemy in his writing for the violin.