ZMF New Music - Fostering the creation of new solo works for marimba

Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba

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Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba is a collection of 24 new compositions for marimba. C.F. Peters Corporation has published them in two volumes of 12 works each. Those releases plus a Bridge Records double-CD of the complete collection celebrated the completion (in November 2009) of this special project of Zeltsman Marimba Festival, Inc. via ZMF New Music.

Launched in October 2006, its aim was to fill the void that existed in the concert marimba repertoire by bridging the gap between idiomatic etudes and virtuosic “warhorses,” thereby meeting important needs of both students and concert performers. It was a project of unprecedented proportions and means: an initiative to foster the creation, performance, publication, and recording of 24 new works in one concerted effort. Commissioning, recording, advertising and administrative costs were largely met through a grassroots fundraising effort involving more than 200 contributors. The project was devised and organized by Nancy Zeltsman and her assistant Shawn Michalek.

Each composition is three to six minutes in length, scored for a marimba with a range of up to five octaves. Sixteen of the 24 compositions were commissioned from esteemed composers. The other eight were the winning entries of ZMF’s own international composition contest. Over a period of eighteen months, 150 pieces were submitted from 20 countries. The collection was premiered and recorded in the summer of 2009 during Zeltsman Marimba Festival, co-sponsored by Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Shawn and Nancy

Photo: claudiahansen.com