Boston Modern Orchestra Project
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is a major ensemble devoted to the performance and advancement of new music. It has won several ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming of Orchestral Music, been nominated for major awards, and has issued dozens of albums for a variety of labels.
The BMOP was founded in 1996 by Gil Rose, who serves as the group's artistic director and conductor. The ensemble performs mostly at its home venue, Jordan Hall, located at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The group also occasionally concertizes in New York City, at Tanglewood, and other locales in the U.S. While the BMOP has a stated goal to perform and promote new compositions, including many commissioned pieces, the ensemble also takes up rediscovered works of the 20th century. Concertgoers and record buyers won't be hearing the group perform Mozart and Beethoven, but they may well hear a rarely encountered piece by Schoenberg or Webern. Their repertory typically features works by composers such as Arthur Berger, Lukas Foss, John Harbison, Tod Machover, Gunther Schuller, and lesser-knowns like Shih-Hui Chen, Michael Gandolfi, Lee Hyla, Tamar Diesendruck, Reza Vali, and scores of others. From the beginning, Rose was able to attract both talented musicians to perform in the BMOP as well as gifted, often well-known composers to write new works for them. In fact, through the first decade of the new century, the group commissioned and performed more than 30 works and gave over 70 premieres. Since 2000, the BMOP has named a composer-in-residence for each concert season.
For all its early success, the BMOP did not make its first recordings until the new century, when Naxos released an album of Rochberg works in 2002 and Chandos issued the Lukas Foss opera Griffelkin the following year. The ensemble has also recorded for Innova, Arsis, and Albany, among others. In 2008, the BMOP launched its own label, BMOP/Sound, with a highly acclaimed release of John Harbison's ballet Ulysses. By early 2020, the BMOP had recorded over 50 albums in the BMOP/Sound catalog, among them Charles Fussell's Symphony for Baritone and Orchestra ("Wilde") from 2008, which received a Grammy nomination. The group won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox.