Panels & Workshops

Expanding the Boundaries: Programming New Music in an Age of Diversity

May 24-25, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queens Park, Toronto


How do presenters build their programming? How can artists begin a dialogue with them — what do presenters respond to?

Both one-hour workshops deal with this same issue, but catered to their unique situations (Workshop #1 — festival presenters, Workshop #2 — season presenters).

Workshop #1 — Selling to a Festival Presenter

  • David Lang — Bang On A Can Festival (New York)
  • Vincent Ho — Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival
  • Ellen Waterman — Guelph Jazz Festival
  • Graham McKenzie — Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK)

Workshop #2 — Selling to a Season Presenter

  • Jarko Aikens — Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam) — 20 minutes
  • Michel Frigon — Innovations En Concert (Montreal) — 10 minutes


Panels total about 1h45m and include initial statements, a moderated discussion between the panelists, followed by an opportunity for the audience to discuss and/or ask questions. Questions provided under each panel description (“to stimulate panelists”) are not necessarily what the panelists will cover.

Panel #1 — Exploring Diversity

What is this thing called “New Music”? What is the scope of the activities that constitute “New Music”? What do all of these activities have in common?

  • Ellen Waterman — Moderator
  • DB Boyko — Western Front (Vancouver)
  • John Gzowski — Composer (Toronto)
  • Clemens Merkel — Quatuor Bozzini (Montreal)
  • Alex Pauk — Esprit Orchestra (Toronto)
  • Graham McKenzie — Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK)

To stimulate panelists: Does it really matter if we define new music? Is a definition important to you, to the audience, or to the media? Is your definition of new music aesthetically, technically, culturally or process oriented?

Panel #2 — Touring New Music: Canadian versus International Realities

*Joint Session with Cool Drummings conference*

The differences and similarities between Canadian and international new music events.

  • Tim Brady — Moderator
  • Jarko Aikens — Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam)
  • Veronique Lacroix — Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal
  • Ana Lara, Musica Y Escena (Mexico)
  • Peter Hatch — Open Ears Festival (Kitchener)
  • Alan Pierson, Alarm Will Sound (USA)
  • Eve Egoyan, Pianist (Toronto), Frank Druschel, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra

To stimulate panelists: How do Canadian events relate to one another? How do international events relate to Canadian ones (and vice versa)? Is there a difference in approach, vision, format, etc.? How does content differ? How does process differ? Are the goals in terms of public interaction different? Is there a difference in how Canadian versus International presenters decide what they program?

Panel #3 — Dissemination

Getting New Music heard and seen… live music, recorded music, the digital environment. Finding the right dissemination for your genre of work.

  • Lawrence Cherney — Moderator
  • David Lang — Bang On A Can Festival (New York)
  • Darren Copeland — NAISA (Toronto)
  • David Pay — Music On Main (Vancouver)
  • Jean Piché — Videomusic (Montreal)
  • Andy Sheppard — CBC — (Producer of the Signal)

To stimulate panelists: What medium is your priority and why? Compare and contrast the different methods of dissemination you make use of. In what way does each method benefit or deter you? What reasons/goals best suit each method of dissemination? Does each method have the same kind of value to different kinds of new music artists?

*Subject to change without prior notification*