"I think that frequently people are astounded by just how creative this area is," says Jana Lind, public relations director of the Contemporary Music Forum. "There are 70-some composers in this area." Tomorrow at the Corcoran Gallery of Art you can discover what several of these composers have to offer. The Forum will present works by six local composers, preceded by a panel discussion moderated by Judy Gruber of WGMS. The Contemporary Music Forum performs six concerts a year, two of which include works by local composers, but Lind says, "This is the one concert where they really highlight local composers, on a really lofty level."
The Forum was founded in 1974 because, Lind explains, "there needed to be a place for ongoing new music." Every year they receive over 200 music scores, according to Lind. A production board consisting of local composers and musicians then reviews each manuscript and selects compositions to be performed. "We try not to limit ourselves to any one genre, but rather to explore serious contemporary music in all its themes," says Lind. The works are performed by professional union musicians and have the benefit of "a really rather good airing for the first time."
There is also a measure of risk in performing original compositions. "Until the music is actually performed, we don't know what will work. We are offering a real forum, as it were, for testing new music. Some of it will be very viable, and some of it will not. The community is being stretched in what they are able to hear."