The Harbison Project

Network for New Music



Network for New Music. Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou.

In April 2014, Network for New Music (NNM) brought renowned composer John Harbison to Philadelphia for a week-long mini-festival of two concerts and related events that celebrated his career of classical- and jazz-inspired chamber music. Harbison, the 1987 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, worked with NNM to expose local audiences to the rich and creative interplay between classical music and jazz. This was the first time that NNM presented and performed a series of concerts and events built around the output of a single major living composer. The concerts, held at Temple University and the Curtis Institute, featured the world premiere of Right to Pleasure, a major chamber work by Harbison, commissioned by NNM. In addition, NNM commissioned five new pieces from celebrated classical and jazz composers, inspired by Harbison's work: Uri Caine (2003 Pew Fellow and 2010 USA Walker Fellow); James Primosch (1996 Pew Fellow in the Arts and 1985 Guggenheim Fellow); Anna Weesner (2003 Pew Fellow in the Arts and 2009 Guggenheim Fellow); Bobby Zankel (1996 Pew Fellow in the Arts); and Terrell Stafford (Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University and member of Grammy Award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra). A commercial recording will be made for online distribution and broadcast on radio station WRTI.