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Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP)

June 16–24, 2017

SICPP was started by Artistic Director Stephen Drury as an intensive performance seminar on music of the 20th century, and for many years enrollment was open only to advanced pianists; since 2005 the program has also been open to percussionists, finally expanding by 2009 to include vocalists and all other instrumentalists. SICPP is now a full-blown annual chamber music festival focused on works of the 20th and 21st centuries, with an electronic music workshop, and featuring the SICPP New Works Program - a composition workshop where advanced composers have the opportunity to study with the Composer-in-Residence (this year, Georg Friedrich Haas), engage in colloquia with fellow composers, and work directly with musicians in the rehearsal and performance of their work.

The experience is intense and demanding - eight days of masterclasses, lessons, colloquia, rehearsals, topped off by incredible nightly concerts given by SICPP faculty, guest artists and Ensemble-in-Residence the Callithumpian Consort.

Selected soloists participate throughout the week in masterclasses led by SICPP faculty and guest artists. Most accepted performers participate in chamber groups which perform on the final marathon concert we call the Iditarod. Select SICPP fellows will have also have the exciting opportunity to perform solo works in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's Calderwood Hall on afternoon concerts each weekday.


ENSEMBLE PROGRAM:  Instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to apply to the SICPP Ensemble Program.  A limited number of performers will be selected to prepare and perform contemporary chamber music under the direction of SICPP artistic director Stephen Drury; selected ensembles will prepare works by Composer-in-ResidenceGeorg Friederich Haas and be coached in masterclass by the composer.  PDFs of music will be mailed out in May; groups formed from the pool of applicants will also include members of the Callithumpian Consort who will serve as embedded coaches for their ensembles.  Selected ensembles will also perform works by SICPP enrolled composers (see CALL FOR SCORES). All music will be performed for Professor Haas in the New Works Program masterclass, and on the final marathon concert on Saturday June 24th. Click here for a list of chamber repertoire performed on past SICPP Iditarods.

NEW WORKS PROGRAM: Composers accepted to the program (see CALL FOR SCORES) will participate in daily colloquia, led by Composition faculty Nicholas Vines, where composers will present their works and discuss their process with fellow composers.  Composers will have their submitted works performed by musicians attending the Institute and/or members of the Callithumpian Consort in a masterclass by Georg Haas, as well as on the final marathon concert on June 24th.

PERFORMANCE WORKSHOPS: Masterclasses take place throughout the week on a daily basis. Selected soloists will be invited to perform in masterclasses with the SICPP faculty. Some participants will have masterclass performance opportunities as a part of chamber ensembles. Participants will be coached by members of the Callithumpian Consort, embedded in the groups, or by the SICPP faculty and guests artists on a broad range of repertoire from the last 100 years (click here for suggested repertoire list).

ELECTRONIC MUSIC WORKSHOP:  This workshop, led by NEC's Electronic Music Studio Director John Mallia and SICPP's long-time percussion faculty Scott Deal, is focused on the use of electronics in performance. Proposals for sound and multimedia installations are also welcome. Selected electronic artists, including composers, improvisers, and sound artists, as well as performers and composers interested in, but with little or no experience with, electronics will participate in daily sessions of student presentations/demonstrations and faculty critique, workshops on specialized topics in the electronic arts, rehearsals with a multichannel diffusion system and/or other specialized performance setups, and a culminating performance event showcasing participant works. Collaboration among SICPP attendees will be encouraged.

We are seeking composers, sound artists, and performers working with live electronic processing, laptop and/or analog electronics in performance, multichannel sound diffusion, sound installations, networked performance, and related areas. Please send a work sample and a statement outlining a project that you would like to work on during the festival. Resultant work will be presented as part of the SICPP Electronic Workshop concert on June 23rd.

CONCERT SERIES: Artistic Director Stephen Drury presents six evening concerts of music from the 20th and 21st centuries. Concerts will feature the music of the Composer-in-Residence, with performances by Drury and the Callithumpian Consort, our esteemed Guest Artists, and members of the SICPP Faculty. All concerts are FREE, including SICPP’s crowning event, the infamous Iditarod — a marathon concert given by SICPP fellows featuring works by the Composer-in-Residence, New Works Program composers, and many more. See past Iditarod program lists here. Other concerts during the week include the Electronics Workshop Concert on Friday, and weekday lunchtime concerts by the Performance/Ensemble participants.

COMPOSER-IN-RESIDENCE: Georg Friedrich Haas will be the 2017 SICPP Composer-in-Residence; his music will be presented as part of the evening concert series. Haas will coach participants on his own works and meet with and discuss works submitted by participating composers, both in masterclass and in individual meetings (see CALL FOR SCORES).

CALL FOR SCORES: The New England Conservatory Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice is seeking scores for both mixed ensembles (of no more than 6 players) and piano or instrumental solo, to be performed during the June 2017 course (June 16 - 24).  Scores can be of a range of difficulties.  The selected works will be performed by advanced students attending the course and discussed in masterclass and individually by composer-in-residence Georg Friedrich Haas.  Composers whose pieces are selected are expected to attend the course for the composer's fee of $850.

To Apply

Click here to view the 2017 application.

or mail them to:

Stephen Drury
c/o New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

To contact SICPP, please click here.

Why people love SICPP

“It was by far one of the best weeks of my musical season. A perfect blend of challenge, new ideas, and adventure.”

“I met so many interesting performers and composers with really enlightening perspectives and thoughts, and I can't wait to come back to SICPP next time.”

“In the two years that I've been a performer at SICPP, I have consistently had the most enriching chamber music performance experiences of my life. SICPP does an excellent job of exposing artists, young and old, to the essential repertoire of our time--extending the influence of new music to the communities of Boston and beyond.”

“If I had seen even one of the evening concerts, I would have thought that it was the best concert that I had ever been to.”

“It really was the best musical experience of my life! Being able to meet so many people that share an equal if not more exuberant love for contemporary music was invaluable to my growth as a musician and a person.”

“The marathon concert showed to me the high standard of the student’s interpretation and puts your program at a level with other distinguished new music summer courses like the Darmstadter Ferienkurse.”

“SICPP is basically new music heaven.”