BMV is dedicated to presenting the ever-evolving music of our time, performed by musicians who play with virtuosic precision and passionate involvement. Its mission is to broaden experience, knowledge, and enjoyment of every style of new music by embracing the full range of today’s compositional activity and giving voice to music that might otherwise not be heard. BMV’s commissioning program has brought into being essential new works for young audiences, and an intriguing spectrum of music for chamber ensemble, opera, music theater, and multimedia.
History of BMV
Music Director Richard Pittman founded Boston Musica Viva in 1969 as the first professional ensemble in Boston devoted to contemporary music. Through the years, BMV has become one of the most highly respected ensembles of its kind, with an international reputation for innovation and excellence. Andrea Musso of the Corriere di Torino praised “the superb versatility of the ensemble,” and Tim Page of The New York Times wrote that BMV is “justly celebrated as one of the finest new music ensembles in the United States.”
The strength of premiere performances by the ensemble has helped many pieces enter the modern repertoire. BMV is particularly proud to have been an early champion of composers such as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, John Harbison, Joseph Schwantner and Steven Stucky, each of whom later went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. BMV is unique in its consistent support of composers of challenging music, assuring that their works will receive top-level premieres. With rare exception, a new work, often by an American composer, is premiered at each concert. In its 40-year history, BMV has performed more than 592 works by 244 composers. These include 154 works written specifically for BMV, 169 world premieres, and 75 Boston premieres.
Praised for performances demonstrating “consummate virtuosity” and “commanding skill,” the professional ensemble shares the latest musical innovations with New England audiences in a four-concert annual series at the Tsai Performance Center in Boston. BMV further engenders appreciation for contemporary music through recordings; family concerts; educational workshops; and local, domestic and international tours. U.S. tours have brought the ensemble to Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, Carnegie Recital Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Tanglewood, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and numerous other concert halls, colleges, and universities. BMV has toured Europe nine times, most recently a three-concert series at Kings Place in London.
BMV is also the Northeast regional partner in the nationwide Rapido!® Composition Contest, conducted in collaboration with founding partner Atlanta Chamber Players and Fifth House Ensemble of Chicago, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble of San Francisco, and Voices of Change of Dallas.
BMV has recorded for Albany, Neuma, Delos, CRI, Nonesuch, Newport Classic and Northeastern Records.