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. As Philadelphia’s premier presenter of improvisational music, we are the pivot point between this city and the wide world of jazz and improvisation. We assure Philadelphia audiences a sustained relationship with the most creative work being done in music, and we also ensure that Philadelphia artists are part of that exciting global conversation.
Philadelphia’s most reliable and ambitious presenter of new jazz and improvised music
— The Wire
We work to make Philadelphia a place where music lives, thrives, and heals, exploring the intersection of many forms of contemporary music and making Philadelphia a welcome stop for premier avant-garde jazz” (Spin). Ars Nova has been the subject of numerous articles in the local and national press, including The 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 “site-specific and curatorial” approach to music presentation.
Since its inception, ANW has programmed more than 800 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, Nicole Mitchell, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Tony Conrad, Suzanne Ciani, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and MacArthur fellows Anthony Braxton, Claire Chase, 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. Embracing the thin line between contemporary jazz and “new classical,” we have featured performances from revered groups such as S.E.M. Ensemble, Sō Percussion, Ensemble Pamplemousse, JACK Quartet, Daedalus Quartet, and many others.