Thursday, November 17, 2022 10:23 AM


This year the New York Composers Circle is celebrating its 20th anniversary concert season. This is a notable achievement, which has required significant efforts on the part of many people. The group's founders have mostly passed away now, but they provided us a solid foundation on which to grow, including the 501(c)(3) status, which allows us to receive tax-deductible contributions from you. Founder Jacob E. Goodman presented the first NYCC concert on May 4, 2003. It included works by three composers who are still members today, namely Debra Kaye, Patricia Leonard and Gayther Myers. We continued to give only one or two concerts each year until the 2007-08 season when we gave four, and from then on we have given more and more, interrupted only by the pandemic, until we are now presenting eight concerts in 2022–23.

But concerts are not the only thing that we do. We also talk about music — a lot. We host monthly salons at which composers present their works and receive feedback from the audience. We also talk about our pieces before they are played at our concerts, and we have our composers available at our receptions after the concert where you can ask even more questions, or share your feedback about how you heard the music.

Our members have included some very distinguished composers and performers. Our honorary members include some of the most distinguished composers of their time, such as Elliott Carter, Ezra Laderman, John Eaton, Raoul Pleskow, and my own dear friend, Dinu Ghezzo, who have all passed away. Tania León and Paul Moravec are still with the Composers Circle. We have recently expanded our membership to include several composers who do not live in the New York area but have strong connections to it and are dedicated to our group.

The administration of the New York Composers Circle is run entirely by volunteers. I want to praise, first of all, the work of our Concert Director, David Mecionis, who has planned all of the concerts for the last several years. This is a massive job, and requires attention to numerous details. No less important is the job of webmaster, and Timothy L. Miller has done a truly impressive job. He has completely revamped the site since he took over, and he has put every available video of our performances on YouTube. There was a time when we just made audio recordings of our concerts, but now we make high-quality videos as well. I encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. There are many others who fulfill other important roles for our group. My thanks to Richard Brooks, Debra Kaye, Robert Cohen, Dary John Mizelle and all the administrators who have given so much of their time volunteering to grow and improve the Composers Circle.

Nearly all of our concerts include world premieres. This is because our composer members are very active and constantly creating new works. But a problem with our current musical culture is also that there is a dearth of second or third performances of new works. One of our goals is to remedy that by holding additional performances in other parts of New York and of the world. But that takes funding. For an organization like ours to survive in these difficult times for new music is a significant accomplishment. We need your support to be able to continue to provide you with new music that will be both exciting and challenging, and to be able to increase awareness and appreciation of new music through additional performances. We encourage you to make a tax deductible contribution at our concerts or through our website, and we look forward to your continued presence at our concerts.

— Hubert S. Howe, Jr.

November 2022