Through collaboration and passionate investment, Ars Nova Workshop elevates the profile and expands the boundaries of jazz and contemporary music.
Philadelphia’s most reliable and ambitious presenter of new jazz and improvised music
— Wire Magazine
Winner of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and Philadelphia magazine’s “Best of Philly” award, Ars Nova Workshop (ANW) is an internationally recognized jazz, experimental, and new classical music presenter. ANW explores the intersection of many forms of contemporary music and “has made Philadelphia a welcome stop for premier avant-garde jazz” (Spin). It has been the subject of numerous articles in the local and national press, including Wire magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jazz Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times referred to ANW’s work as a “textbook embodiment” of a “more site-specific and curatorial” approach.
Since its inception, ANW has programmed over 700 unique events throughout Philadelphia, often in partnership with leading cultural institutions, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of Pennsylvania, The Barnes Foundation, Institute of Contemporary Art, Settlement Music School, and the Painted Bride Art Center, and in unconventional spaces such as Bartram’s Garden, the American Swedish Historical Museum, and Philadelphia’s last active pre-World War I rowhouse synagogue, Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras Israel, to name just a few.
Performances have featured many of the most significant contributors to modern music over the last 50 years, including Cecil Taylor, Pauline Oliveros, Rhys Chatham, Henry Threadgill, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Tony Conrad, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and MacArthur fellows Anthony Braxton, Steve Coleman, Ken Vandermark, George Lewis, and John Zorn. ANW’s acclaimed “Composer Portrait” series has featured the remarkable depth of such artists as Vijay Iyer, Tim Berne, Tyshawn Sorey, Julius Hemphill, Steve Lehman, and Roscoe Mitchell, and featured performances from S.E.M. Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Daedalus Quartet, Ursula Oppens, Crucible Quartet, Jennifer Choi, Joseph Kubera, and many others. Recent performances have also featured adventurous composers who frequently work in the field of electronic music, such as Fennesz, Holly Herndon, Tyondai Braxton, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Ben Frost.
The 2018 October Revolution builds on the foundation of last year’s hugely successful inaugural edition, which The New York Times called a festival that “makes history” and DownBeat hailed for its “curatorial brilliance.” Selling out three of its four days, the festival immediately established itself as a vital destination for adventurous listeners, with WBGO stating, “Experimental music fans have a new festival to look forward to.”