How well do you know Fulcrum Point?


 

SB-FPNMPFounded in Chicago in 1998 by Stephen Burns—a world-class trumpeter and renowned teacher, performer, conductor and composer—Fulcrum Point New Music Project is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to being the local leader in diverse new music which boldly straddles the barriers between new art music and traditional music from around the world.  Fulcrum Point New Music Project’s primary mission is to ensure a future for new art music by activelycommissioning innovative new works, presenting vibrant multi-media performances, and generating novel cultural collaborations and educational programs.

In its commitment to perform new work, Fulcrum Point has premiered pieces by a number of internationally-renowned composers, including Bruce Adolphe, George Crumb, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, HK Gruber, Fela Kuti, Aña Lara, Tania León, Hannibal Lokumbe, David Stock, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Randall Woolf – many who now sit on Fulcrum Point’s advisory council, the “Sounding Board.” Including the 2009-10 seasons, Fulcrum Point will have presented more than 100 Premieres – over 20 performed for the first time in the world - ensuring that Fulcrum Point concertgoers always experience a work they’ve never heard before!  Further, exemplifying the organization’s all-embracing approach, newly commissioned pieces often share a program with works as disparate as Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige; Aaron Copland’s clarinet concerto; or numbers by Jimi Hendrix or Frank Zappa.


With the goal of redefining the concert experience, Fulcrum Point performances often incorporate multi-media elements of film, dance, literature, poetry, and the visual arts.  Concerts are purposefully programmed around a specific theme (such as mythology from around the globe; different international cultural focus at each peace concert; and the 5-year exploration of the essential elements), encouraging audiences of diversity to make cross-cultural connections and, thereby, gain greater insight into the world today.


Throughout its twelfth-year history, Fulcrum Point has worked with many Illinois art institutions and organizations including the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Humanities Festival, Snow City Arts, The Nature Conservancy, Merit School of Music, Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago, St. James Episcopal Cathedral, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Field Museum of Natural History, The Green Mill, Ravinia Festival, Millennium Park, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and even the Cook County Correctional Facility to provide educational programs in conjunction with performances.  Fulcrum Point programs serve about 8,000 audience members annually -- an audience that is increasingly diverse in age, ethnic background and musical interest.  


In 2007, Fulcrum Point developed an innovative educational program titled
Sound Tracks – Exploring Global Cultures through World & New Music. The program is intended for 4th and 5th grade students in Chicago Public Schools social studies classes and highlights world and new art music to show connections between music, geography, politics, and the traditional cultures of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.  There are currently 8-10 schools in the program, servicing close to 800 students in the Chicago area.  At present, Polk Bros. Foundation is the lead funder of this program.


Under Burns’ direction, the 21-member Fulcrum Point ensemble includes musicians for Chicago’s Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony; university music faculty from Northwestern, DePaul, Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and freelance musicians who have appeared with such entities as CUBE, Pinotage, the Chicago Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta.


Fulcrum Point New Music Project has called the Harris Theater for Music and Dance its Chicago performance home since 2004, when they performed the opening work at its gala opening.

 



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