Our Story

WHEN FULCRUM POINT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1998, CHICAGO’S NEW MUSIC SCENE WAS NARROWLY FOCUSED IN ACADEMIA AND STILL IN AN EARLY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. CHICAGO HAS A FORMIDABLE REPUTATION AS A CREATIVE INCUBATOR, BUT NO GROUP WAS EXPLORING THE COMPLETE SPECTRUM OF MUSICAL POSSIBILITY. DOMINATED BY THE ACADEMIC CONTEMPORARY CANON, COMPOSERS IN GENRES SUCH AS MINIMALISM, NEO-CLASSICISM, NEO-ROMATICISM, POSTMODERNISM AND MULTIMEDIA ART HAD FEW OUTLETS FOR EXPRESSION AND RESOURCES FOR SUPPORT.

“Stephen Burns’ intrepid chamber ensemble has made a mark in Chicago, providing a bracing shot of youthful adrenaline to the local music scene and drawing a loyal audience to the group’s imaginative concerts.” -Chicago Sun Times

Performing Arts Chicago recognized that this community needed someone to champion their work. They gave our founder Stephen Burns a mandate: redefine the concert experience and showcase the diversity of new music in Chicago.

With Fulcrum Point, he created opportunities for development and performance for these adventurous composers. Audiences responded enthusiastically to new formats, including concert/dance parties, multimedia events, and dramatic stagings of broad, thematic programs. Before long, Fulcrum Point reinvigorated the new music scene.

Now in our 20th year, Fulcrum Point continues to grow. We embrace a broad range of experimental styles and multimedia content. We foster cultural exchange and community building. We create dynamic new programming with an emphasis on cross-cultural exchanges, improvisation, technology, and collaboration. As a result of this work, we have been honored with the prestigious BMI and ASCAP music awards. You can find us presenting new music in a variety of settings, including The Promontory, The Field Museum, Constellation, Old St. Pat’s, SPACE, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and Thalia Hall.

FULCRUM POINT CHALLENGES THE CHICAGO MUSIC SCENE TO EXPLORE THE ADVENTUROUS POSSIBILITIES OF MUSIC. WE OFFER OUR UNWAVERING SUPPORT TO NEW MUSIC COMPOSERS AND IMPROVISERS THROUGH MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCES AND COMMISSIONING OF NEW WORKS. OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS HELP ASPIRING COMPOSERS AND CURIOUS MINDS EXPLORE NEW FACETS OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR MUSICAL EXPRESSION. THROUGH ENGAGING THIS BROAD SPECTRUM OF ART FORMS AND ARTISTS, FULCRUM POINT SPEAKS TO OUR TIME.

Since its beginnings, humanity has embraced the exploration of new ideas. We at Fulcrum Point invite you to use this challenging music to explore new parts of yourself. It will take you on a journey of creative expression, community building, and self-discovery. Join our adventure in new art music!