Q2 Music's 2016 New-Music Countdown

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Q2 Music's 5th Annual New-Music Countdown Q2 Music's 5th Annual New-Music Countdown (Benjamin Ellis/Q2 Music/flickr)

It's time for that most wonderful time of the year: Q2 Music's annual New-Music Countdown!

In early December, we asked Q2 Music listeners to vote on their favorite new-music of the last the last 20 years? — i.e. music that was composed on or after Jan. 1, 1997. What pieces broke the rules or built brilliantly on the traditions of the past? Which composers challenged you intellectually or moved you to new emotional depths? Twenty years from now, what pieces will we look back on as still capturing our collective imagination?

Beginning this Wednesday, December 28, at 11 am, we'll begin countdown the top 50 votes. The countdown will continue at 11 am on Thursday (#40-31) and Friday (#30-21). Saturday, December 31 beginning at 9:30 am, we'll close out 2016 with a mammoth countdown of the top 20. The most-requested piece rings in the new year.

Check back on this page during the Q2 Countdown to see updates on where your favorite new-music pieces landed on the list.

50. Louis Andriessen — La Passione
49. Enno Poppe — Keilschrift
48. Thomas Ades — Tevot
47. Kaija Saariaho — Orion
46. Sofia Gubaidulina — In tempus praesens
45. Donnacha Dennehy — That the Night Come
44. Esa Pekka Salonen — Violin Concerto
43. Sarah Kirkland Snider — Unremembered
42. Ann Southam — Simple Lines of Enquiry
41. Anna Thorvaldsdottir — Aeriality
40. Gérard Grisey — Quatre Chants pour franchir le seuil
39. John Zorn — Shir Ha-Shirim/The Song of Songs
38. Nico Muhly — Viola Concerto
37. Tristan Perich — Surface Image
36. Unsuk Chin — Violin Concerto
35. Steven Stucky — Symphony
34. John Adams — On the Transmigration of Souls
33. Julia Wolfe — Steel Hammer
32. Peter Eotvos — Seven
31. David Lang — The Passing Measures
30. Jennifer Higdon — Violin Concerto
29. George Benjamin — Written on Skin
28. Ted Hearne — Law of Mosaics
27. David T. Little — Dog Days
26. Chaya Czernowin — Maim
25. Lisa Bielawa — Double Violin Concerto
24. Chris Theofanidis — Rainbow Body
23. Meredith Monk — Songs of Ascension
22. Henri Dutilleux — Correspondances
21. Osvaldo Golijov — Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra
20. John Luther Adams — In the White Silence
19. Jurg Frey — String Quartet No. 3
18. Thomas Ades — Polaris
17. Kaija Saariaho — D'om le vrai sens
16. Steve Reich — Double Sextet
15. Hans Abrahamsen — Schnee
14. Julia Wolfe — Anthracite Fields
13. Donnacha Dennehy — Grá Agus Bás
12. Anna Thorvaldsdottir — In the Light of Air
11. Andrew Norman — The Companion Guide to Rome
10. Georg Friedrich Haas — in vain
9. Thomas Ades — Asyla
8. David Lang — The Little Match Girl Passion
7. Kaija Saariaho — L'Amour de loin
6. John Adams — The Dharma At Big Sur
5. John Luther Adams — Become Ocean
4. Andrew Norman — Play
3. Missy Mazzoli — Breaking the Waves (* Because this piece has not yet been recording, we've substituted Song from the Uproar)
2. Hans Abrahamsen — let me tell you
1. Caroline Shaw — Partita for 8 Voices


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Comments [2]

High Point for me was 'Georg Friedrich Haas — in vain". Phil Kline said close your eyes - I followed his advice to my abstract satisfaction.

Jan. 01 2017 09:38 PM
graham barkham from Larchmont, NY

I do enjoy the countdown. It validates my preferences. But this past year you fooled around with it by throwing in a fundraiser & an opera. I am interested to learn how you dealt with the Brandenburg Concerti. Did you lump them all within a single entry in the top ten, as you have done in the past?

Jan. 01 2017 11:46 AM

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Q2 Music is WQXR’s multiplatform home for musical discovery and dynamic new classical music from trailblazing composers, ensembles and leading New York new-music venues. Q2 Music's 24/7 stream lives online at q2music.org and is accessible via the free WQXR app.


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