Dallas Festival of Modern Music

The Festival

One of Dallas’ newest and most exciting cultural institutions, the Dallas Festival of Modern Music is ready to impact the metroplex for a third season! Inaugurated in 2009, the festival provides an innovative concert series emphasizing music of the 20th and 21st centuries. The festival is also unique for its significant support and outreach to young musicians across our region.

The Past

The Dallas Festival of Modern Music finds its genesis in 2009. On a shoestring budget, the festival presented nine concerts across the Dallas neighborhoods of Lakewood and Highland Park. Performers included some of the region’s finest musicians, including world-renowned percussionist Mark Ford and the NT3 Percussion Trio, the Griffiths-Janczyk piano duo, and ensembles from Texas A&M University – Commerce. Also of significant note was the formation of Ars Nova Dallas, the festival’s resident chamber orchestra. Performing exciting works by Joan Tower, Barbara White, and Arnold Schönberg’s masterwork Pierrot Lunaire, Ars Nova Dallas, joined by noted Baltimore soprano Jessica Abel, received critical acclaim in the Dallas Examiner. In addition to the cultural footprint that the Dallas Festival of Modern Music left on Dallas, the festival also created an educational outreach program impressive by any measure. In total, well over 2,500 students received enrichment as a result of the festival’s initiatives!

The 2010 season was a year of growth. Ars Nova Dallas expanded to two full programs, featuring music by Weill and Boulez, and our Taste the Music series began. That series functioned as a sort of post-concert nightcap to the Ars Nova performances, and it featured some great indie-classical at Good Records on Greenville. Exposure for the festival grew as well, including a sizable writeup in Lakewood Magazine and featured performances on both WRR 101.1 and KDFW Fox 4.

The Future

Although the Dallas Festival of Modern Music is extremely proud of our roots, we are even more eager to move into the future! Ars Nova Dallas is again offering two unique programs, one featuring the Triple Duo of Elliot Carter, and the other featuring Igor Stavinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. Paired with those programs will be a number of world premieres and other new music culled from the festival’s first ever national “Call for Scores.” The festival will also host a number of excellent chamber and solo recitals, welcoming solo artists from across Texas, and Taste the Music will continue as well. Topped off with our same great education outreach program, Musicalive!, 2011 is set to be our most exciting season yet!

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