Author

Colin Eatock

Date of Award

8-1984

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Music Criticism

Supervisor

Paul Rapoport

Language

English

Abstract

New Music Concerts, an organization founded in Toronto in 1971 by Robert Aitken and Norma Beecroft, was created for the purpose of presenting concerts of contemporary art music. From its first concert, on January 6, 1972, until the end of NMC's 1982-1983 season (the period examined in this study), New Music Concerts has presented 83 programmes on its main concert series in Toronto. Presenting high-quality concerts of recent and at times artistically controversial works, New Music Concerts achieved national and, to a lesser extent, international importance in the contemporary music world during the 1970's. In this study an attempt was made to answer the questions: "How did NMC develop throughout its first twelve seasons?", "What programming policies and methods have been used by the directors of NMC?", "What have been the critical reactions to NMC?" and "What influence has New Music Concerts had on local, national and international levels?" The main sources of information on New Music Concerts used in this study were articles and reviews in newspapers and other periodicals, the archives of NMC and interviews with Aitken, Beecroft and others. Among the conclusions of this study are the following: that New Music Concerts evolved from previous concert organizations in the Toronto area, in particular Ten Centuries Concerts and Music Today; that NMC has been consistent in its programming and faithful to its initial programming policies; that NMC has received a very broad range of critical reactions, with reviews in The Globe and Mail on the whole less favourable than those in The Toronto Star; and that NMC has had a limited but powerful influence in the contemporary music world. A brief closing section to this study contains some proposals as to how New Music Concerts might best continue its activities in the face of the changing public tastes of the 1980's. Following this are appendices which include lists of all composers and compositions programmed by NMC.

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