Diana Ferreira

Aveiro University

New Music for New Musicians – New Musicians for New Audiences – New Audiences for New Music: the case of Arte no Tempo.

Within the scope of Arte no Tempo (AnT)– a Portuguese non-profit organization that seeks to promote contemporary musical art– a set of different activities aiming to congregate diverse groups of people around contemporary music creation is being developed. Two decades (1997-2017) of programming concerts with great music/musicians or talks with relevant speakers about interesting/current matters, usually attended by a small audience, was enough to understand that something different would have to be done in order to appeal to a broader population. Following the belief that being in contact with music makes one become a better human being– either as a creative agent, a skilled interpreter or a more conscious audience member– and sharing the will of involving more and more people in the experience of art music, AnT’s team focused on finding possible solutions to bringing different people into contact with the new music that we want to promote. Therefore, we have identified different problems for which AnT could develop possible solutions. On the one hand, students of Portuguese conservatoires (6-18 year-old students) have almost no contact with repertoire composed in the second half of the twentieth century onwards. Seldom, some recent tonal or neo- something pieces can succeed in being accepted onto the schools’ programme, bringing some comfort to those teachers who understand the need of keeping composition alive, in spite of their total disapproval for new sounds and the musical grammars of their own time. On the other hand, if music schools do not show much respect for new music, regular schools simply seem to ignore its existence. One can live an entire life without coming across even a composer of one’s own country, or without considering the possibility of looking for new music and its creators. So, AnT’s team realized it would be necessary to act in these two important fronts to bring a broader population into contact with new music and musicians. It would be important to create new repertoire to make young music students experiment new aesthetics and media, as well as to create opportunities to share this new work. This led AnT to commision a new series of works for solo instrument and electronics to be prepared within the schools, with the help of instrument teachers, bringing both students and teachers to work with music that most of teachers would certainly avoid. Families don’t miss an opportunity to listen to their children’s concerts, so a third layer of enthusiasts emerges, by featuring the premiere of the works in the context of a new music festival. A different approach is that of summoning pre-existing groups with no direct relation to musical practices and integrate them into different phases of a creative process, making them discover from the inside the fabulous world of new music. This new approach to the promotion of new music has only started in 2017 but there are already noteworthy results we would like to share.

Keywords: new music promotion, education, artistic programming


Diana Ferreira (Aveiro, 1976) has a degree in Music Education on the field of Composition and she is currently finishing her Masters on History of Music (University of Aveiro, both). Diana studied electroacoustics with Godfried-Willem Raes (Hogeschool Gent) and attended several seminars with the composers Emmanuel Nunes, Gérard Grisey, Jonathan Harvey, Salvatore Sciarrino, Kaija Saariaho, Isabel Mundry, Beat Furrer, Hans Zender, Jean-Claude Risset and John Chowning, among many others. Her music has been played in Portugal, France and Italy. She is a founding member of Arte no Tempo. She created Aveiro_Síntese (2002) and co-created Jornadas Nova Música (1997-2001). Presently, she programmes the biennials ‘Reencontros de Música Contemporânea’ and ‘Aveiro_Síntese’, as well as co-directs FIP (Festival Itinerante de Percussão) and ‘arte had oc’ project. Diana teaches Analysis and Techniques of Composition and History of Music, writes program notes for different institutions and collaborates with jornal Público since 2005, as music critic.