Conservatory of Music

From Bach to Broadway

FOCUS Festival of Contemporary Music

The Baldwin Wallace FOCUS Contemporary Music Festival was established in 1984 by Loris Chobanian to promote the music of our time.  The biennial FOCUS Festival features the music of a contemporary composer who visits Baldwin Wallace for a week-long residency. At the conclusion of the week's rehearsals and symposia, the composer's music is performed in a series of concerts, including large ensembles and chamber groups. Featured composers have included Chen Yi, William Bolcom, Loris Chobanian, John Corigliano, Lukas Foss, Karel Husa, Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gunther Schuller and Joseph Schwantner.         

The 2013 Focus Festival features composer Christopher Theofanidis.  From October 30 though November 3, Mr. Theofanidis' works will be studied and performed by student and faculty chamber groups and large ensembles.  For more information and the schedule of events, please click here.

Dr. Chen coaches a BW student ensemble

The first female and first Asian composer to be featured in a BW FOCUS Festival of Contemporary Music, Dr. Chen Yi was on campus beginning October 26, 2008.  Her visit culminated in a weekend of concerts October 31 - November 2 and a masterclass that included student composers from BW, Oberlin College, Cleveland State University and Cleveland Institute of Music.  The 2008 FOCUS Festival was generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.


William Bolcom and his wife, mezzo soprano Joan Morris coach a BW voice student


Featured composer for the 2006 FOCUS Festival was William Bolcom who visited campus in November 2006 with his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. 




Krzysztof Penderecki at BW, Fall 2004


The 2005 Focus Festival featured Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki. BW was honored to be the single performance venue during his trip to the United States.

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