When I first started nienteForte as a single concert in 2011, the primary objective I had in my head was simply to inspire. I wanted to give my students and the Tulane community an avenue in which they could be exposed to and potentially be inspired by contemporary music in the same way that I was during my formative undergraduate years. It only took a single concert with a wide variety of contemporary repertoire to change my entire career and life path that now two decades later continues to shape how I compose, teach, and live my life.
Four years later, nienteForte has exploded into something that I never would have anticipated, particularly with the newfound partnership with co-director Maxwell Dulaney. Both of us come from vastly contrasting backgrounds and philosophies when it comes to our own music, but what makes our co- directorship in nienteForte so exciting to me is that his vision and hope to inspire is just as strong. By combining our resources in nF, we’re able to further realize that vision to create a spark of excitement and wonder about music of all shapes and sizes that can have life-changing impact and connections to our audience whether enthusiast, performer, or composer.
The inclusion of Ensemble Pamplemousse in nienteForte’s debut year as a festival is particularly exciting and has a significant parallel with this mission. Not only is Pamplemousse comprised of musicians and composers from a wide spectrum of experiences and perspectives brought together by a common vision, but their collective members act as a significant role- model for women composers – a segment of the music world that is severely underpopulated. In this regard I feel that Pamplemousse as a successful and highly experimental professional ensemble represents a hugely relevant principle in today’s modern society: in music, and subsequently in any form of art, everyone – especially women – should feel free to be exactly who they want to be.