Composers Now empowers all living composers, celebrates the diversity of their voices and honors the significance of their artistic contributions to the cultural fabric of society.
Founder and artistic director Tania León leads the organization since 2010. Composers Now features a broad spectrum of performances in concert halls, jazz mobiles, opera stages, experimental spaces, conservatories, museums and other musical venues. Symphony Space served as an incubator for the development of the Composers Now Festival. The Fund for the City of New York invited Composers Now to become a project partner in 2013. Amy Roberts Frawley served as the first Program Director from 2013 to 2017. Mary G. Madigan served as Executive Director from June 2017 to December 2019. Under Mary's directorship, Composers Now became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in May 2019. Béatriz Hernández joined as Executive Producer in December 2019.
The Festival brings together performances presented by venues, ensembles, orchestra, opera, musical theater and dance companies as well as many other innovative events through New York City. Composers are in attendance at all events which are open to the public. From jazz to indie, from classical to electronic and beyond, join us on a sonic journey through the landscape of the arts of our time.
Creative Residencies provide invaluable time and space to awarded composers. They allow them the opportunity to work uninterrupted, to explore new ideas and further develop their imaginative projects. Each residency may be individual or in collaboration with other creative artists. These residencies take place in partnership with artistic centers.
Dialogues is an innovative new initiative comprised of inspiring performances, thought-provoking conversations and stimulating exchanges of ideas between composers, performers and audiences. Occurring in each borough of New York City, Dialogues is a series of five events that will focus on a different theme each year. The theme for the inaugural year is "The impact of the arts in our society."
Composers Now announces a collaborative initiative with presenters across the five boroughs of New York City to generate greater visibility for living composers throughout the year.
Composers Now is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All gifts will be acknowledged and are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Composers Now is proud to acknowledge the support of the following organizations:
The Aaron Copland Fund for Music
The Amphion Foundation
BNY Mellon Wealth Management
The Cheswatyr Foundation
Fund for the City of New York
Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund
Michael Minard and Phyllis Ross
Newburgh Institute for the Arts and Ideas
The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
The Witherspoon Fund
Composers Now is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund and Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council ("LMCC") serves, connects and makes space for artists and community.
"Composers Now will give New Yorkers across the five boroughs a significant opportunity to experience the rich and diverse contributions of composers to the cultural life of the city," says Mary McCormick, President of the Fund for the City of New York. "We are happy to provide this innovative organization with the administrative resources and energy it needs to fully realize its mission."
The Fund for the City of New York was established by the Ford Foundation in 1968 with the mandate to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. For over three decades, in partnership with government agencies, nonprofit institutions and foundations, the Fund has developed and helped to implement innovations in policy, programs, practices and technology in order to advance the functioning of government and nonprofit organizations in New York City and beyond.
Composers Now has been awarded a transformative grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for 2015. The support will allow Composers Now to continue to deepen its commitment to composers, both through the annual festival in NYC's five boroughs and the expansion of its current programs. The grant also allows for the possibility of new initiatives in support of the organization's mission. Read the full press release to learn more.