A new music festival brings what Boston isn’t hearing

The Boston new music scene is profiled.

But there is a lot more new music under the sun – including an entire world of viscerally charged contemporary concert works that draw inspiration from improvised traditions, minimalism, popular or folk music. This other music doesn’t have a single name, but it’s clear that it’s not thriving here. Performances of works by Steve Reich, John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Magnes Lindberg – hugely prominent composers with international reputations – still take on the whiff of forbidden fruit. Osvaldo Golijov, a Boston-based composer whose music taps into world-music genres from tango to klezmer, has a far bigger profile nationally than he does in his own hometown. A minimalist landmark like Terry Riley‘s “In C” draws a crowd barely larger than the group of performers on stage. I have heard exactly one work by John Zorn performed here in almost three years. And if you want to hear anything by the legions of younger composers and performers inspired by the various downtown traditions, the pickings are extremely slim.

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