UNB’s Contemporary Music Festival Moves Online for 2020

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Longtime UNB Musician-in-Residence Nadia Francavilla has curated a three performance lineup for this year’s festival happening November 13-15. 

Festival curator Nadia Francavilla. Photo: UNB

Last fall, University of New Brunswick’s Musician-in-Residence, Nadia Francavilla, curated the first Contemporary Music Festival with great success. It was a weekend of activities focused around three concerts featuring avant-garde music from young, emerging, women composers. Guest artists were invited from amongst the best in New Brunswick, the Atlantic region, and beyond.

The UNB Centre for Musical Arts intends to mount this year’s Contemporary Music Festival as an online event during November 13-15, 2020. This year’s festival theme “The Secular and the Spiritual” explores the unique musical language marked by such diverse elements as Christian spirituality and musical Symbolism.

For a second year, the festival is focused around three core concerts. For each concert, Ms. Francavilla draws on pre-existing relationships with former collaborators who reflect her deepest sensibilities as a musician. Some of the performances will be pre-recorded separately, then assembled into a video montage to be viewed by our online audience. Via Youtube Live, the audience will also be able to see our musicians live in action, while they improvise together from separate locations. Guest artists include long-time collaborators pianist Carl Philip Gionet, clarinetist Richard Hornsby, soprano Helene Pridmore, composer Helen Hall and emerging musician and composer Emily Kennedy.

The festival’s goal is to create new and original music content accessible via the web through a combination of pre-recorded performances and live streaming. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to bring live music back through new formats. We continue to break down the barriers between artistic fields and to give women a voice in a world where Bach, Beethoven and Brahms are still prevalent. The concept is unique amongst other festivals in the region and provides a specific platform for diverse musical artists, dancers and visual artists to come together in new creations.

In addition to these concerts, the festival includes pre-recorded interviews with musicians and composers. We will have Q & As after concerts via live streaming and chat rooms so our audience members can connect with our artists.

Times, tickets and other info. 

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