New Music Works (NMW) is dedicated to presenting music of our time in concert. Our goal is to develop a positive relationship between today’s audiences and music of our time, through imaginative, diverse programming. NMW’s annual concert series offers works by living composers in a variety of media, emphasizing music by Santa Cruz area composers, producing original music/theater works, while also including masterworks of the 20th and 21st centuries.
New Music Works was formed in 1979 by five composers (Tim Bell, Philip Collins, Ron Elfving, Richard Freeman-Toole, and Gene Lewis) for the purpose of performing one another’s works publicly. New Music Works’ seasons explore programming that encompasses concerts, music theatre and site-specific outdoor events. Founding member Philip Collins has served as Artistic Director since 1982. Although the eleven piece New Music Works Ensemble is the organization’s resident performance group (since 1997), the concert series has frequently featured guest artists and ensembles of global acclaim from throughout the U.S. and abroad.
In an effort to encourage young composers, New Music Works inaugurated Sound Horizons in 1997. This annual performance of compositions by students enrolled in regional colleges and universities has, since 2001, adopted a competition format and now includes a cash prize awarded to the winning entry. The winning composition is also featured in one of New Music Works’ concerts along with more established composers.
Twenty-two original music theatre projects have involved collaborations with a wide range of artists and organizations from throughout the Monterey Bay Area and have been key to New Music Works’ diverse programming.