Welcome to SICPP: 8 days and nights of explosive new music!

The SICPP experience is intense and demanding – each day is filled with masterclasses, colloquia, concerts, and rehearsals. Nearly every day is topped off by an incredible evening concert given by SICPP faculty, Guest Artists, and the Ensemble-in-Residence, the Callithumpian Consort, featuring works by our 2021 Composers-in-Residence, Prof. Chaya Czernowin and Dr. Ann Cleare.

Click here to learn more about our guests and faculty.

SICPP was started in the late 1990s by Artistic Director Stephen Drury as an intensive performance seminar on music of the 20th century. For many years, enrollment was open only to advanced pianists, but since 2005 the program has also been open to percussionists, and further expanded in 2009 to include vocalists and all other instrumentalists. SICPP is now a full-blown annual chamber music festival focused on works of the 20th and 21st centuries, which also features an Electronic Workshop and New Works composer fellow program.

Here’s what some past “Sick Puppies” have to say:

Thank you for building this community of like-minded people! I can't wait to come back.

The performances by Callithumpian were among the most exciting I’ve seen in general, and the performances by fellows as well were amazing. Overall, I’m very grateful to have attended and learned a lot from meeting and watching many talented people doing some really interesting things.

It was by far my favorite event I've attended as a composer so far and I hope I can make it back in future years!

This was one of the most welcoming and kind musical environments that I have ever been in. I have made so many new friends and finally feel like I found a home in classical music!

Nick [Vines] is a truly great composer, an outstanding, candid, generous and professional mentor, and has made my time [at SICPP] more than worth it! I cannot say enough glowing things about him.

I wanted again to write you and express how fascinating and special the last week at NEC was. Thank you for the rare opportunity to listen to this interesting combination of "older" and "newer" New Music during the evening concerts and experience it through such extraordinary performances.

It really was the best musical experience of my life! Being able to meet so many people that share an equal if not more exuberant love for contemporary music was invaluable to my growth as a musician and a person. The intensity of the week really helped me rise to a new level.

Hearing composers and musicians talk about new music formally (in the masterclasses and colloquia), and informally was so educational. All of the performances on the series at Jordan Hall, at the Gardner, and at the Iditarod were fantastic. There were such good vibes and an intense excitement about new music in the air!

This summer program was really motivating, and I'm going to try to find people here to start a new music ensemble at my school.

So many like-minded people creating this great artistic community, playing fantastic music all the time. I met so many interesting performers and composers with really enlightening perspectives and thoughts, and I can't wait to come back to SICPP next time... I've been raving about it nonstop to my family and friends. Thanks again for a truly inspiring week of masterclasses and colloquia and concerts.

The entire faculty was phenomenal; superb teachers all. I don't think I've ever learned so much in so little time. The master classes were the best I've ever experienced, both as a participant and as an audience member. The faculty recitals were all extraordinary. The whole experience has a wonderfully enthusiastic and positive spirit – very energizing.

For me SICPP had the aura of an being in a parallel universe, where almost everything is identical to this one, except that when you walk down the halls of a music conservatory, from room after room you hear one contemporary composition after another, and when, occasionally you come across someone practicing a Chopin Etude, you stop and say, 'What the heck is that guy doing?!

Past Guest Artists and Composers-in-Residence

  • 2019
    • Composer-in-Residence: Michael Finnissy
    • Guest Artists: Mark Dresser and Joseph Kubera
    • Electronics Workshop Guests: Andrea Pensado and Elainie Lillios
  • 2018
    • Composer-in-Residence: Julian Anderson
    • Guest Artists: Allen Otte and Mark Menzies
    • Electronics Workshop Guests: Susanna Bolle, Davide Ianni, and Brian Riordan
  •  2017
    • Composer-in-Residence: Georg Friedrich Haas
    • Guest Artists: Kim Kashkashian and William Winant
    • Electronics Workshop Guests: Judy Dunaway and Christopher Bailey
  • 2016
    • Composer-in-Residence: Vinko Globokar
    • Guest Artist: Marilyn Nonken
    • Electronics Workshop Guests: Elainie Lillios and Katarina Miljkovic
  • 2015
    • Composer-in-Residence: Rand Steiger
    • Guest Artist: Mark Menzies
    • Electronics Workshop Guests: Sasha de Koninck and Rand Steiger
  • 2014
    • Composer-in-Residence: Roger Reynolds
    • Guest Artists: John Tilbury and Nino Jvania
    • Electronics Workshop Guests: Jed Speare and Roger Reynolds
  • 2013
    • Composer-in-Residence: Rand Steiger
    • Guest Artists: Winston Choi
  • 2012
    • Composer-in-Residence: Christian Wolff
    • Guest Artists: Steffen Schleiermacher, Joseph Kubera, and Louis Goldstein
  • 2011
    • Composer-in-Residence: Tristan Murail
    • Guest Artists: Ursula Oppens
  • 2010
    • Composer-in-Residence: Chaya Czernowin
    • Guest Artists: Steffen Schleiermacher and Mathias Reumert
  • 2009
    • Composer-in-Residence: Jonathan Harvey
    • Guest Artists: Francesco Dillon, Emanuele Torquati, and Aki Takahashi
  • 2008
    • Composer-in-Residence: Jo Kondo
    • Guest Artists: Aki Takahashi
  • 2007
    • Composer-in-Residence: Water Zimmermann
    • Guest Artists: Heather O’Donnell
  • 2006 Composer-in-Residence: Michael Finnissy
  • 2005 Composer-in-Residence: Frederic Rzewski
  • 2004 Composer-in-Residence: Christian Wolff
  • 2003 Composer-in-Residence: Lee Hyla
  • 2002 Composer-in-Residence: Linda Dusman
  • 2001 Composer-in-Residence: Paul Elwood