Contemporary Music


Kutmanaaly Sultanbekov during the Bang on a Can Summer Institute at MASS MoCA, 2009


Contemporary Music Ensemble ETHEL performs in Kaliningrad, Russia, 2010


Musician Robert Black gives a workshop in Kaliningrad, Russia, 2009

Global Art Lab’s contemporary music programming provides formative opportunities to musicians from the US, Russia and Central Asia and aims to nurture cross-cultural musical exchange. In collaboration with local partners throughout Russia and Central Asia, CEC ArtsLink has organized concerts and educational programs by nearly one hundred US musicians, including leading new music ensembles and performers such as ETHEL, the Phillip Glass Ensemble, the Bang on a Can All Stars, So Percussion, Meredith Monk, and Terry Riley. CEC ArtsLink’s programming of American contemporary music represents one of the few opportunities for local audiences to hear music by alternative, noncommercial U.S. musicians.

Bang on a Can Partnership
Through an on-going partnership with Bang on a Can, CEC ArtsLink has fostered fruitful exchange between U.S., Russian, and Central Asian musicians. Since 2004 more than twenty Central Asian and Russian musicians have performed with Bang on a Can at their Summer Institute at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts each summer and in their Marathon concert at the World Financial Center in New York City. The Summer Institute and the popular Marathon bring together talented young musicians from around the world.

CEC ArtsLink has also facilitated two Central Asian tours for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, in which they performed for large audiences as well as held seminars and workshops with local musicians in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Participants on both sides of these endeavors have gained invaluable intercultural understanding, professional contacts, new musical knowledge and an opportunity to promote traditional Central Asian music and experimental contemporary music within new audiences.

Current & Upcoming
In the winter of 2012, Global Art Lab and Aga Khan Music Initiative supported a trip for Tashkent's Omnibus Music Ensemble to Bishkek for a week of workshops, seminars and exercises that culminated in a series of concerts with students of Bishkek's Academy of Contemporary Music.

The highlight of CEC ArtsLink’s contemporary music programs in spring 2013 was its second Festival of Traditional American Music, which introduced Russian audiences to the depth and richness of contemporary American traditional music. Through performances and workshops in nine cities, the festival presented a view of US cultural life that makes a distinct statement about our nation—the diversity of the artists and the vitality of the communities in which they reside. The performers- Los Texmaniacs, The Quebe Sisters, and the Modern Blues Masters trio- are master artists, dedicated to sharing their knowledge with others, ensuring these art forms will endure for generations to come. CEC ArtsLink conducts this project with the support of the US Embassy in Moscow.