Nief-Norf is a Knoxville-based, multi-tiered contemporary music organization devoted to fostering creative work among musical interpreters, composers, and scholars. Nief-Norf presents and performs contemporary chamber music in ways that explore the breadth and depth of the repertoire. Their focus on flexible repertoire-based instrumentation allows the ensemble to connect Knoxville’s most voracious ears with outstanding works of the 20th Century as well as new commissions and collaborations.


The Nief-Norf Summer Festival (nnSF19) at The University of Tennessee is a 2 week residency and musical think tank for composers, performers, and music technologists. The festival features 9 concerts over the entire session. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets and in the widget below. Full concert details will be posted soon! Applications for the 2019 program are now closed, and 2020 applications will be online in Fall 2019. Make plans to join us!

A meeting-of-the-minds for the whole new music community

Join us at nnSF19 for our annual New Music Weekend Summit—a two-day meeting embedded within the 2019 Nief-Norf Summer Festival, June 14-15, 2019 in Knoxville, TN. This is a chance for the community to share music, wisdom, research, and experience focusing on our 2019 topic "Genre Lines." During this year’s Weekend Summit, we will examine music that has defied, reaffirmed, and/or blurred the boundaries of genre in experimental music of the past 50 years. We seek to ask who and what gets included and excluded when genre lines are drawn.

The Weekend Summit will additionally feature talks and performances centered on the music of our guest artists, including composer-clarinetist James Falzone, composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, and trumpeter-composer Wadada Leo Smith, who will give the conference keynote. Find out more about the New Music Weekend Summit.

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The Nief-Norf Summer Festival made me experience an infinite amount of thoughts, sounds, sights, ideas and emotions. It brought me into contact with many incredibly prolific and passionate musicians who also are hooked on this world of whacky and enchanting sounds with a thirst to celebrate and create much more. I was given the opportunity to play pieces that may not have been so easy to facilitate back home. The intensity of workshopping with world-class faculty and many performance opportunities imbued me with heightened confidence that I can tackle challenging repertoire no matter how gnarly it appears on the page. At Nief-Norf I was able to unleash my musical identity. I felt completely welcomed into the outstretched arms of the festival and through the pieces I played, the people I met and the things I experienced. I was invigorated and in many ways rejuvenated.
— Phoebe Bognár, nnSF18 Performance Fellow


Applications for Nief-Norf Summer Festival 2019 Are Open

Todd Steed interviews Nief-Norf for the WUOT Podcast


nnSF now Featuring Music Technology workshop

Connect with us

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For general inquiries, please email

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Our Location

PO Box 31432
Knoxville, TN 37930