The Center for New Music, a performance organization devoted to the late 20th and early 21st century repertoire, is the focus of contemporary composition and performance at the University of Iowa. The Center, like the internationally renowned Writers Workshop, embodies the institution's commitment to the vital role of the creative arts at the frontiers of human experience.

The Center functions as a laboratory and performance extension of the School's composition area, and as a repertory ensemble for the creation and presentation of new music in general. Depending on funding, the size of the core ensemble has varied from as many as 26 persons (including a vocal ensemble of 12) to as few as seven players. Extra players are hired on occasion in order to present larger-scale compositions. The Center also serves as the locus of activities for guest composers whose visits range from a few days to entire academic terms.

The Center, year, remains an advocate of contemporary music performance. Its programming reflects the range of current compositional styles as well as what is considered classic repertoire from the mid-20th century into early 21st. The high quality of performance results from working with a core ensemble, solidly grounded in the repertoire, over an extended period of time. New and more diverse audiences are carefully cultivated through outreach concerts, and the Center's professional reputation is steadily being established through CD recordings as well as through the collaboration of nationally-known guest composers and performers.

The Center was originally funded by a $100,000 matching grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1966. From the start, the Center sparked the composition of new works expressly for the ensemble, and brought professional realizations of both local and international repertoires to the University community as well as to tour audiences throughout the state of Iowa and beyond.

With the success of the Center, the same foundation granted $456,000 (again to be matched by the University) for an interdisciplinary Center for New Performing Arts (1969-1975). Since that time, the Center for New Music has been continuously funded by the University through the School of Music.

Over virtually the entire span of its existence, the Center has enjoyed the guidance of its founding members, Richard Hervig and William Hibbard. Its brilliant success is indeed a tribute to their imagination, wisdom and devotion. With Hervig's retirement and Hibbard's death, the administrative direction of the Center was passed to D. Martin Jenni, a long-standing composer-participant of the organization, and then in 1991 to David K. Gompper.

A large part of the Center's mission has been to bring new music to a wide and diverse public, for many of whom the Center occasions a first encounter with new music, in schools and colleges as well as at town forums and in farming communities. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts made it possible, in 1973, for the Center to present new works from Iowa at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Shortly thereafter, Center personnel participated in the production of a CRI recording of New Music from The University of Iowa, including several works that had been composed for the ensemble.

The Center has directed much of its energy to the production of the work of composers in residence at Iowa (as staff, students and guests), many of whom have since become leading figures in American music. It also has to its credit the first world or American performances of major works such as: Traces by Luciano Berio and Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death (1969) by George Crumb, Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (1973) by Olivier Messiaen and Triple Duo (1983) by Elliott Carter.

Many visiting artists have enriched the musical offerings of the School of Music since the inception of the Center. A sampling includes the composers George Crumb (1969), Larry Austin (1971), Alcides Lanza (1972), Charles Wuorinen (1972, 1974), Morton Feldman (1973), Salvatore Martirano (1973), Jaap Spek (1976), Gunther Schuller (1980), Lukas Foss (1982), Louise Talma (1982), Kenneth Gaburo (1983), John Ronsheim (1985), Libby Larson (1986), Ralph Jackson (1986), William Albright (1992, 1995 & 1996), Bernard Rands (1993), Bright Sheng (1994), Noel Zahler (1997), Theodore Antoniou (1998), Jeremy Dale Roberts (1999), Charles Dodge (1999), Bernhard Lang (1999), Beat Furrer (1999), Shulamit Ran (2000), Robert H.P. Platz (2005).

Performers include Janet Steele (1970), David Burge (1973), David Tudor (1973), Paul Zukofsky (1976), Harvey Sollberger (1978), Robert Hagopian (1981), Steven Schick (1983, 1985, 1988), Garrick Ohlsson (1988) and Jeff Lyman (1994 & 1999).

In November of 1998, the ensemble from the Center for New Music (which included both faculty and students) mounted an East Coast tour, and performed at UI, Yale, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Harvard and Connecticut College. The latter was part of a larger festival of music comprising an SCI Region I conference and a series of concerts and lectures honoring Pierre Boulez.

The Center has released five CDs since the early 90s. The earliest CD dates from 1991 (Music & Arts Program), and is a 25-year retrospective that includes works by Hervig, Hibbard, Ziolek, Paredes, Eckert and La Barbara. The second CD, entitled 20th century American Music (Capstone-CPS8762), includes music of the New York tour mentioned above. Albany Records released our third disc, entitled Into the Future: the Center for New Music at 40 in August 2007 (Berners, Dangerfield, Dahn, Eckert, Fritts and Gompper). The fourth recording, released in 2007, features the compositions by D. Martin Jenni. Our most recent disc, featuring contemporary works written for solo strings and large ensemble (Dale-Roberts, Donatoni, Gompper, Hu and Nez), was released by Albany Records in the spring of 2009.

David Gompper has lived and worked professionally as a pianist, a conductor, and a composer in New York, San Diego, London, Nigeria, Michigan, Texas and Iowa. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Jeremy Dale Roberts, Humphrey Searle and Phyllis Sellick. After teaching in Nigeria, he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan, taught at the University of Texas, Arlington, and since 1991 has been Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa. In 2002 - 2003 Gompper was in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, performing and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. In 2009 he received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City.

Gompper's compositions are heard throughout the United States and Europe. In 1999 his Transitus (for wind ensemble) premiered at Carnegie Hall, and a number of his works have premiered in London's Wigmore Hall, including: Homage a W. A. (William Albright) for piano; and Shades of Love, a song cycle on the poetry of Constantin Cavafy.

Subsequent returns to Moscow have included premieres and performances of Crossed, Music in the Glen, Six Love Poems, Star of the County Down, Butterfly Dance, Spirals and Ikon. His latest work for violin and piano, Ikon, was taken on a 14-concert tour throughout the US and Europe last fall with Wolfgang David, a violinist from Vienna with whom Gompper actively collaborates as a pianist and composer. They have recorded three CDs on the Albany and VDE-Gallo labels.

He recently completed several new compositions including a 28' song cycle called The Animals on poetry of Marvin Bell written for Stephen Swanson. He is working on several new compositions including a piano solo in memory of William Albright, a piano trio and a work for solo cello for Timothy Gill in London. His Violin Concerto and other orchestral works were recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) in December 2009 for a release on Naxos in early 2011.

For more information about David Gompper and his works, visit his website at: www.davidgompper.com.


Contact the Center for New Music at:

Phone: (319) 335-1626 or (800) 553-IOWA
Fax: (319) 335-2637

Mailing Address:

David Gompper, Director
Center for New Music
School of Music
UCC 2742
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1795

For the CNM email address,  click here 

The School of Music facilities,  click here 

For composition studies at the School of Music, contact:

David Gompper (Area Head) at (319) 335-1626.

For contact information relating to the School of Music,  click here 





 

Riverside Recital Hall,   405 N Riverside Drive

FROM I-80
Exit at #244 and proceed south on Dubuque Street. At Park Road, turn right and at North Riverside Drive, turn left. The Recital Hall is at the southwest corner of N. Riverside Drive and Grove Street.

FROM POINTS SOUTH on US 6 and HWY 1 (via South Riverside Drive)
Proceed northward on South Riverside Drive in the right lane. After crossing the intersection of Newton Road (west) and Iowa Avenue (east), enter North Riverside Drive and continue to proceed northward. The Recital Hall is at the southwest corner of N. Riverside Drive and Grove Street.

FROM POINTS WEST on US 6 (Coralville 2nd St.)
Proceeding east on US 6, turn left onto Rocky Shore Drive, which turns into Park Rd. At North Riverside Drive, turn right. The Recital Hall is at the southwest corner of N. Riverside Drive and Grove Street.

 


 

Riverside Recital Hall
  405 N Riverside Drive

PARKING
To access the small parking area located to the south of the Recital Hall, enter Grove Street and turn left at the driveway at the rear of the building. Additional parking is available in the UI parking lots on the east side of Riverside Drive. A connecting path and stair on the lot is located near Grove Street.

 

Iowa Memorial Union, Main Lounge
125 North Madison Street

FROM I-80
Take Exit #244 and turn south on Dubuque St. Follow Dubuque St. south to Market St.; turn right onto Market St.; follow Market St. to Madison St.; turn left onto Madison St. Very quickly, on your left is the entrance to the Iowa Memorial Union parking area. If the venue is an evening, we advise using the ramp at the north end of Madison St. (only two blocks).

FROM US 6
Follow US 6 to Iowa Avenue. Turn east onto Iowa Ave.; follow Iowa Ave. to Madison St.; turn left on Madison St, past Jefferson St. and turn right to enter the Iowa Memorial Union parking area.


 

Iowa Memorial Union, Main Lounge
125 North Madison Street

FROM I-80
Take Exit #244 and turn south on Dubuque St. Follow Dubuque St. south to Market St.; turn right onto Market St.; follow Market St. to Madison St.; turn left onto Madison St. Very quickly, on your right is the entrance to the Iowa Memorial Union (the parking ramp is directly opposite), up the set of stairs and straight through the lobby into the Main Lounge.

FROM US 6
Follow US 6 to Iowa Avenue. Turn east onto Iowa Ave.; follow Iowa Ave. to Madison St.; turn left on Madison St, past Jefferson St. but before Market St. Use the last set of stairs on your left to enter the Union building, through the lobby and into the Main Lounge.


 


OLD CAPITOL MUSEUM
  Senate Chamber

    Pentecrest

FROM I-80
Take Exit #244 and turn south on Dubuque St. Follow Dubuque St. to E. Market, turn right. At the next block, turn left onto N. Clinton and follow to the third traffic light. The venue is the building with the gold dome, the original capitol of the territory of Iowa.

FROM US 6
Follow US 6 to Iowa Avenue. Turn east onto Iowa Ave. and the Old Capitol will be straight in front of you.

PARKING
If the event takes place after 5pm or on Sunday, the nearest street parking is along Clinton Street. There are two parking ramps that are suggested: the ramp attached to the University Capitol Center, or the ramp located opposite the Iowa Memorial Union along Madison St. between Market and Jefferson.

HANDICAP ACCESS
Handicap access is available at the south side of the building at the ground level. Push the door bell to alert the staff. An elevator is accessible to the third floor.


 


OLD CAPITOL MUSEUM
  Senate Chamber

    Pentecrest

HANDICAP ACCESS
Handicap access is available at the south side of the building at the ground level. Push the door bell to alert the staff. An elevator is accessible to the third floor.


 

University Capitol Center
Recital Hall
  Old Capitol Mall, Lower Level

FROM I-80
Take Exit #244 and turn south on Dubuque St. Follow Dubuque St. to E. Market, turn right. At the next block, turn left onto N. Clinton and follow past three traffic lights to the University Capitol Center on your right. The parking structure is just before the 4th light, Burlington St. If you are attending an event on the weekend, there is free parking in lot 11, two short blocks from UCC.

FROM POINTS SOUTH on US 6 and HWY 1 (via South Riverside Drive)
Proceed northward on South Riverside Drive and turn right on Burlington Street. Turn left on S. Capitol Street and enter the parking structure on the right.

FROM POINTS WEST on US 6 (Coralville 2nd St.)
Proceed southward at Riverside Drive and turn left on Burlington Street. Turn left on S. Capitol Street and enter the parking structure on the right.


 

University Capitol Center Recital Hall
  Old Capitol Mall, Lower Level



FROM PARKING STRUCTURE
If not at the ground level, take the elevator to the lower level and proceed into the mall.

FROM STREET ENTRANCES
The UCC Recital Hall is opposite the UI Quick Care Clinic