The CPC began because I had a belly ache. In the fall of 2014 I found myself, after several years of remission, in a full flare up of Crohn’s disease.
For several months I was off work and stuck in bed. I desperately missed my life as a busy working harpist. Unable to practice or perform, I tried to fill my endless hours by listening to music, reading and studying scores (and exhausting my Netflix queue).
All of that time spent bedbound left me with a lot of time to think. In reflecting on my life as a performer, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the “contemporary” music I was performing didn’t fully encompass the breadth of expression I heard every day when working with my friends who were composers. At the time I was reading “Evenings On and Off the Roof,” by Dorothy Lamb Crawford, a history of the Monday Evening Concerts. I was struck by the humble but noble motivations of the founders of this iconic series. I was impressed that it was the passion, love and dedication of these two people - not money or renown or access to resources - that initiated and then held the series together. I found myself wishing that I too could perform the concert music of my time, composed by my peers, in a concert series dedicated solely to the ideal of great music. I also wanted others to hear and see what I knew was true - that Los Angeles has an undeniably compelling and unique musical voice. I wanted to show that the composers of our city not only need to be heard, but that in presenting their work we have the opportunity to highlight LA’s signature musical identity, a sound that is different from any other in the world.
When I was well enough to begin to execute my dream, I brought in Zoe Godfrey, a young and incredibly talented musician, businesswoman and administrator. We were joined by my friend Lucas Cantor, who not only had experience in producing concerts, but was himself a composer. On April 26, 2015 we held our first concert, where we premiered 8 works played by 18 of LA’s finest musicians. The rest is history.
Now, the CPC is about to take its next step. We know that our composers are top-notch, that our musicians are among the finest anywhere, and that we create programs that engage and invigorate the community. Now, we turn towards creating an organization that will last, that will be able to support our mission, our musical family, and our community for many years to come.