THE NIEF-NORF SUMMER FESTIVAL WILL TAKE PLACE June 10-24, 2019

The Nief-Norf Summer Festival (nnSF) is an interdisciplinary summer music festival, bringing together dozens of performers, composers, and scholars to collaborate on the performance, creation, and discussion of contemporary music. The nnSF offers an immersive think-tank environment in the state-of-the-art Natalie L. Haslam Music Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and presents more than 10 concerts of modern music, aiming to encourage both appreciation for live music and support for contemporary art.

The Nief-Norf Summer Festival features full-time, faculty-led workshops in performance, composition, and music technology lasting the duration of the festival. In addition, each year the nnSF hosts two international calls for projects: the first, a Call for Papers for a weekend-long Research Summit on contemporary music, and the second, a Call for Scores competition for composers. These projects bring some of our generation's brightest and most promising composers and scholars to the festival for interaction with the fellows, the faculty, and the Knoxville community.


Applications for nnSF19 open on October 8, 2018 || Priority deadline: Dec 15, 2018
The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019.
Save 10% off of your application fee when you sign up for our mailing list.
Returning nnSF alumni receive a $250 credit toward tuition.

The nnSF Performance Workshop offers a concentrated chamber music experience and currently invites applications from all instrumentalists and vocalists age of 18 and older (including undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and professionals). Offered concurrently with the Composition Workshop, Music Technology Workshop, and Research Summit, the Performance Workshop will provide fellows extensive interaction with the faculty, guest composers, and visiting artists, as well as opportunities for professional level performances of some of our repertoire's finest works throughout the festival. 

Performance fellows will benefit from the following activities:

  • Admission to all festival activities, including rehearsals, coaching, presentations by guest artists and guest composers, and concerts.

  • Perform on average of five to seven chamber works, working with faculty and other performance fellows in the preparation of festival concerts.

  • Private coaching with performance faculty.

  • Opportunities for small-group interaction with guest artists and winners of the International Call for Scores competition.

  • Access to collaboration with Composition and Technology Fellows.

  • Additional performance opportunity on 'norf SPACE' concerts

  • Beginning in 2019, ensembles may apply to the festival. Ensembles will be mostly playing as a unit during the festival but will also have a chance to work with the other fellows.

Applications for nnSF19 open on October 8, 2018 || Priority deadline: Dec 15, 2018
The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019.
Save 10% off of your application fee when you sign up for our mailing list.
Returning nnSF alumni receive a $250 credit toward tuition.

The nnSF Composition Workshop offers an intensive experience in chamber music composition, and currently invites applications from composers age 18 and over (including undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and professionals). Offered concurrently with the Performance Workshop, Music Technology Workshop, and Research Summit, the Composition Workshop provides fellows extensive interaction with the faculty, guest composers, and artists, as well as opportunities for hands-on exploration of the large variety of percussion instruments available during the festival.

Composition fellows will compose one work for 2-6 musicians under the mentorship of composition faculty Christopher Adler and 2019 guest composers Sarah Kirkland Snider and Alexandre Lunsqui, and will work with the performance fellows and faculty on the preparation of their work for performance during the festival. Composers will write for chamber ensemble, percussion ensemble or percussion in combination with other instruments, based on availability. Close interaction with performers will be invaluable for those seeking to gain experience in writing for specific instruments, while more experienced composers will benefit from the relationships built with dedicated performers of contemporary music. The workshop will admit up to ten composition fellows who will be present for the entire festival.

This year we are introducing a new Composer-Performer option for composer applicants, open to composer-instrumentalists and composer-vocalists. Composer-Performer fellows will be expected to include themselves as a performer in their composition and will fully participate in the rehearsal process and performance of their work. In addition, Composer-Performer fellows will be assigned 2-3 additional chamber works to be performed with Performance Fellows during the festival. We are committed to providing individual meetings with all composition faculty, however rehearsal scheduling may prevent Composer-Performer fellows from participating in some other activities of the Composition Workshop. Composers who wish to perform in their own piece but not perform any additional repertoire should apply only as a Composer.

Composition Fellows will benefit from the following activities:

  • Admission to all festival activities, including rehearsals, coachings, presentations by guest artists and guest composers, and concerts.

  • Private composition lessons with composition faculty.

  • Seminars on composition for percussion and other instruments, and other special topics on contemporary music, by the festival faculty

  • Opportunity to present to the composition workshop.

  • Opportunities for small-group or individual interaction with guest composers and winners of the international Call for Scores competition.

  • Access to piano practice rooms.

  • Access to percussion instruments for exploration, and frequent opportunities to informally engage with Performance Fellows.

  • Working with Performance Fellows and faculty in the preparation of one original composition (for 2-6 players with instrumentation coordinated with festival faculty based on enrollment, and approximately five minutes in duration, depending on the difficulty).

  • Composition fellows' works are programmed on concerts presented by the Performance fellows during the second week of the festival, and thereby receive ample workshop and rehearsal time on par with all other repertoire presented during the festival.

  • One recorded performance of a completed composition on a public festival concert, and recording of dress rehearsals.

  • All accepted applicants to the Composition Workshop and Composer-Performer track will be considered for the Arturo L. Boquiren, Sr. Scholarship.

Applications for nnSF19 open on October 8, 2018 || Priority deadline: Dec 15, 2018
The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019.
Save 10% off of your application fee when you sign up for our mailing list.
Returning nnSF alumni receive a $250 credit toward tuition.

For the past six years, the Nief-Norf Summer Festival has featured an academic conference within the larger 14-day festival. As part of the festival, dozens of performers, composers, festival faculty, and participating scholars attend these research gatherings. Conference topics have included the music of John Cage (2012), Music and Technology (2013), Music and/as Process (2014), Music as Theater (2015), Astro-Bio-Geo-Physical Music (2016), the Sixth International Conference on Music and Minimalism (2017), and New Asia (2018).

Information about the 2019 Research Conference will be announced in December 2018. 

The nnSF Music Technology Workshop offers an intensive experience in live performance with chamber and electronic music and currently invites applications from music technologists age 18 and over (including undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and professionals). Offered concurrently with the Performance Workshop, Composition Workshop, and Research Summit, the Music Technology Workshop provides fellows extensive interaction with the faculty, guest composers, and artists, as well as opportunities for the realization of original concepts involving interactive electronic and electro-acoustic sound production. The workshop will admit up to eight music technology fellows.

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Music Technology fellows will benefit from the following activities:

  • Admission to all festival activities, including rehearsals, coaching, presentations by guest artists and guest composers, and concerts.

  • Perform in both electronic and mixed chamber ensembles, working with faculty and performance fellows in the preparation of festival concerts.

  • Seminars on music technology by festival faculty. Topics include:

    • Real-time digital signal processing and sound synthesis

    • Custom sound design in graphic programming environments

    • Gestural-based electronic sound production: Tools and practices

    • Non-linear electronic music composition

  • Private coaching with festival faculty.

  • Opportunities for small-group interaction with guest artists and winners of the International Call for Scores competition.

  • Access to collaboration with Performance and Composition Fellows.

  • Additional performance opportunity on 'norf SPACE' concerts

Applications for nnSF19 open on October 8, 2018 || Priority deadline: Dec 15, 2018
The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019.
Save 10% off of your application fee when you sign up for our mailing list.
Returning nnSF alumni receive a $250 credit toward tuition.