Banff Centre commissions 12 new works by Canadian and international composers this summer

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BANFF, AB, June 14, 2018 – Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is proud to commission an extraordinary 12 new works by Canadian and international composers as part of its 2018 Summer Music program – a series of three unique residencies designed by co-artistic directors, world-class musicians Claire Chase and Steven Schick. All 12 new works will be given their world premieres by Summer Music program participants, alongside faculty and guest artists, over the course of seven concerts starting in June 2018. Tickets are on sale now at 

“Collaboration and the creation of new works are the through lines of our exciting new residencies at Banff Centre this summer,” said Chase, who is the founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2012 and the 2017 Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “This new music will involve participants in the most important process of the musical world: the creation of new art, resulting in an explosion of creativity, conversation, and transformation in the most inspiring setting imaginable."

The commissioned composers and concert dates are as follows:

Banff Centre’s Summer Music program gives emerging and established musicians, composers, improvisers, and scholars the opportunity to create rich collaborative relationships and enjoy intense experiences in music-making under the mentorship of internationally distinguished faculty. Over 140  participants from across Canada and around the world will take part in the three residencies this summer: Ensemble Evolution (June 18 – July 7), EQ: Evolution of the String Quartet (July 9 – 28),  and (R)evolution: Resonant Bodies (July 30 – August 4).  

"Imagine over 100 passionate participant musicians with an extraordinary cutting-edge faculty together connecting new music to older music, embracing the past and creating the future, all in the spectacular Canadian Rockies. That's Summer Music at Banff Centre,” said Schick.

Faculty for the Summer Music program include composers Vivian Fung, Sabrina Schroeder, Michael Oesterle, Cris Derksen, Zosha di Castri, Chaya Czernowin, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and George Lewis; the JACK, Eybler, and Parker Quartets; members of ICE; and, Resonant Bodies Festival artists (among them Pamela Z, Tony Arnold, and Anthony Roth Costanzo). Additional guests include the Canadian-British theorist-musicologist Suzannah Clark and Juilliard's Ara Guzelimian.

Banff Centre has been training musicians since 1936, when the first program in musical composition, interpretation, and performance for piano was introduced. Over the decades the Centre has become a leading force in the education of musicians from across Canada and around the world through its innovative and intensive programs. 

To learn more about the Summer Music program at Banff Centre, visit To purchase concert tickets, visit

(*Note: Michael Oesterle’s new work was co-commissioned by Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Soundstreams in Toronto)

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. In 2018, Banff Centre celebrates 85 years of creative practice.

About Claire Chase: Claire Chase, described by The New Yorker as "the young star of the modern flute," is a soloist, collaborative artist, curator, educator, and advocate for the music of our time. Over the past decade she has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works for the flute in performances throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and she has championed new music by building organizations, forming alliances, pioneering commissioning initiatives, and supporting educational programs that reach new audiences. 

She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was the first flutist to be awarded The Avery Fisher Prize. She was the 2009 Grand Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and made her critically-acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2010. In 2015, Chase was honored with the American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award. She is the founder and flutist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and Professor of Practice at Harvard University's Department of Music.

About Steven Schick: Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family.  For 40 years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than 150 new works. Schick is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and artistic director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.  He was music director of the 2015 Ojai Festival. He maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including recent appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. Among his acclaimed publications include a book, The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams, and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode) and a companion recording of the early percussion music of Karlheinz Stockhausen in 2014 (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music and holds the Reed Family Presidential Chair at the University of California, San Diego.