Nief-Norf Launches Knoxville Concert Series

Knoxville residents know that Nief-Norf brings the brightest, most promising composers, performers, and scholars together in June every summer. However, the multi-tiered contemporary music organization is expanding its role as a cutting-edge laboratory for 21st-century chamber music, offering year-round programming with the new Knoxville Concert Series in 2018-2019.

The Knoxville Concert Series is funded in part by a grant by the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research at the Eastman School of Music.


We believe that Knoxville has a deep roster of talent and eager listeners who deserve to hear high-quality new music performances just as much as New Yorkers or Angelenos.


Andrew Bliss, Nief-Norf’s Artistic Director, said, “The idea behind Knoxville Concert Series is multi-faceted. It allows us the chance to perform the music we love year-round. Secondly, we wanted to be more present for our Knoxville audience who are so supportive of the festival, our previous Big Ears performances, and Unsilent Night in December.” Bliss continued, “With the Knoxville Symphony and Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, we have access to world class musical performances, available in small venues, large venues, family-friendly events, and more. We are dedicated to presenting contemporary chamber music in that same fashion. It’s important to us to perform and present this incredibly relevant music in Knoxville – the longer I’ve lived here and the more people I meet, I realize just how hungry people are for this kind of music in our community.”


Knoxville Concert Series in the press

Adams brilliant in Nief-Norf concert

“Through All Panics does have languid melodic lines and moments of dark, mysterious passages with sound colors unique to the saxophone. But it also has clicks, snaps and other idiomatic techniques that involve slap tongue and flutter tongue that produces dark harmonics.

Adams was astonishingly brilliant at every moment of it. She was matched by Lodge’s playing at the piano.”

Read more of Harold Duckett’s review for Knox TN Today.

Unsilent Night Returns

Andy Bliss and Todd Steed discuss what is becoming a Knoxville tradition, Phil Kline's Unsilent Night.

Knoxville Concert Series: Fresh Ink

Ace Edewards interviews Andy Bliss on Nief-Norf and the UT Percussion Ensemble for WUOT.

“My destination for that Saturday evening was to be the Nief-Norf Knoxville Concert Series: Fresh Ink at the Square Room. No new tattoos were spotted, but the evening definitely contained the fresh ink of new works, and a fresh breeze of music encounters—a fresh breeze of rising and falling analog sensations that defied black and white and zeroes and ones.” — Alan Sherrod | Review: Nief-Norf’s Knoxville Concert Series – Fresh Ink

“Saturday night at the Square Room downtown, in the second of Nief-Norf’s Knoxville Concert Series, this one called “Fresh Ink” because of the brand-new music on the program, cellist Ashley Walters used her bow to scratch, slide up and down, and push her way across the cello strings to generate a surprising range of sound shapes that had a more musical sense about them than one might expect.” — Harold Duckett | Nief-Norf continues to expand the world of musical sound

unsilent night.jpg

The Knoxville Concert Series includes performances that highlight Nief-Norf musicians, community music-making events, and world premieres.

  • Friday, August 24, 2018: Knoxville Concert Series: Season Opener, The Emporium Center

  • Monday, October 22, 2018: Knoxville Concert Series featuring Allison Adams, saxophone, UT Knoxville 117 Natalie L. Haslam Music Center

  • Friday, December 7, 2018: Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night in Knoxville, Knoxville Sunsphere

  • Saturday, February 23, 2019: Knoxville Concert Series: Fresh Ink, The Square Room

  • Friday, May 10, 2019: Knoxville Concert Series: Heartless Fools featuring Jordan Munson, multimedia artist, Relix Variety Theatre

    To find out more about each event, please visit our events page.

about nief-norf

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 insatiable ears with outstanding works of the 20th Century as well as new commissions and collaborations.