THE EAR

new classical music you'll want

to hear again and again

OUR VISION

OUR VISION

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Classical is coming back with a vengeance. All it will take is for a wave of composers – after an 80-year vacation – to resume writing music that society wants to hear again and again.

Enough waiting. We’re trying to provoke it.

The Ear is gathering like-minded composers to produce a steady flow of infectious, jaw-droppingly gorgeous new classical music that somehow captures Now. Over 600 composers have signed up to test their powers of persuasion. At every concert, we play ten short pieces. When each piece finishes, you – our listener – have one simple question to answer:

DO I WANT TO HEAR IT AGAIN?

 

Dear performers,

We need your help! Partner with us in finding and presenting living composers who write excellent MAINSTREAM classical music. We are currently booking performers with a new composition in their repertoire for a July concert in New York City. Here are the criteria for the repertoire:

1) Short pieces only. Max. 5 minutes. Free-standing OR a movement of a larger work.

2) A solo OR an ensemble piece (up to 25-ish). We will always have a piano.

3) The composer must currently be in the pink (breathing).

4) The piece MUST have a strong HOOK (a short, instantly-recognizable, infectious melodic idea made of pure compositional gold).

5) It must be mainstream classical, meaning: i) it must fit logically on a concert with Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, etc., and ii) it must not fit BETTER on a concert of another established style (jazz, pop, ‘new’ music, etc.)

We will do concerts as often as we have pieces to present, so the more the merrier. Please use the contact form below, and paste INTERESTED PERFORMER(S) into the subject line. We look forward to hearing you!

Alf Bishai, Artistic Director

 

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Pawel Knapik, principal bass, Leap Day Concert, 2016

 

WHAT WE DO

The Ear produces concerts in the form of a competition. The competition has three distinctives:

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1) All compositions are SHORT. (Fur Elise-length.)

2) The audience must want to hear a piece AGAIN.

3) EVERY encore’d piece wins prize money. (And ONLY encore’d pieces win prize money.)

 

OUR LAUNCH EVENT 10/8/15

setting up

setting up

Caio Fonseca, Mark Weiser, Oren Lok, Lisa Hogan

Caio Fonseca, Mark Weiser, Oren Lok, Lisa Hogan

The Ear launched on October 8, 2015. It was a sold-out, rowdy classical concert unlike anything we’ve experienced before. The audience cheered in the middle of pieces, and our pianists had to launch into the next piece while people were still making noise about the last one. It was a glorious, fun mess.
Congratulations to Mark Lanz Weiser, director of theory at USC, our 1st prize winner for the evening. And congratulations to the other composers who each walked away with the Contender Prize, meaning: lots of people wanted to hear their pieces again. They were: Richard Campanelli, Oren Lok, Ivan Bozicevic, Lisa Hogan, Caio Fonseca, Pavel Yakovlev, Kenneth Lim.

 

compliments of Steinway

compliments of Steinway

The first round of The Ear was for solo piano. Many thanks to Steinway&Sons, who sent us a glorious Model D for the evening. Lacking a boat, we were tempted to smash a bottle of champagne against its hull.

 

FOR ARTS PHILANTHROPISTS

We believe that a composition reboot is the ONLY scenario with the power to reboot classical. 

Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsorship partner Fractured Atlas.

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COMPOSERS

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE 
COMPOSER GUIDELINES AND

INFO ON FUTURE EVENTS

 

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ABOUT US

Alf Bishai
Alf Bishai
founder/artistic director
Alf is a composer and music director in New York City. He has taught classical theory and ear-training at NYU since 2001. One evening at the symphony, after witnessing (yet again) an audience of intelligent New Yorkers feebly applaud a new composition that had plunged them into observable misery only moments before, the idea struck him that something very deep was wrong. Since then, he has been obsessed with understanding the absurdities, prejudices and self-defeating practices of classical music culture, and with figuring out how we may be rid of them. The Ear is the fruit of a decade of thinking, arguing, writing, wrangling, experimenting, and searching for kindred spirits. On the composition side, he has spent that decade writing (mostly) film scores and church music, which has taught him how to write simply, and, especially, how to connect with people. Alf lives in Manhattan with his wife, Tanya, and two children.

CONTACT US

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