Festival Overview

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 solo and chamber music. The nnSF offers an intensive think-tank environment in the state-of-the-art Natalie L. Haslam Music Center on the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee, and presents inspiring and devoted performances of modern music, aiming to encourage both appreciation and support for live music and contemporary art.

The festival features full-time performance and composition faculty-led workshops lasting the duration of the festival. In addition, each year the nnSF hosts two international calls for projects supporting contemporary music and scholarship: the first, a Call for Papers for a weekend-long contemporary music Research Summit (nnRS), 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 performance & composition fellows, the faculty, and the community. Applicants to the Composition Workshop may also submit works to the Call for Scores.

The 2015 nief-norf Summer Festival will take place at Furman University from June 7-20, 2015.

Learn more about the Performance Workshop

Learn more about the Composition Workshop

Learn more about the Research Summit

Apply for either Workshop (Applications and submissions open October 15, 2015)

Sample festival schedule


The 2014 nief-norf Summer Festival will be held at Furman University, a private liberal arts university founded in 1826. Furman sits on a beautiful 750-acre campus filled with gorgeous scenery surrounding a lake that is central to its campus. The nief-norf Summer Festival is extremely privileged to have the full support and backing of the Furman music department, specifically Omar Carmenates, who will serve on the faculty and act as host for the ten day gathering.

Furman hosted the United States premiere of John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit in April 2010 and were part of the commission process for the piece. The atmosphere was fantastic and the community and campus was supportive and engaging. Once on campus, everything is within safe walking distance, usually along a very scenic pathway paralleling the lake and tree line. Participants will not need any transportation (unless provided by the nnSF) and will have all of their meals provided for them, allowing for distraction and stress-free creative music making. 

Performers will also have the opportunity to visit Falls Park in the shadows of the awe-inspiring Liberty Bridge (left). Functionally, the bridge spans the Reedy River, however it also serves as the focal point of Falls Park, showcasing man’s creativity alongside nature’s beauty. Below the bridge are the public gardens, which are accentuated in the evening by the bridge’s subtle lighting. Falls Park is a treasure to the Greenville area and will be a delightful place to begin the festival and ten days of exploring the contemporary percussion repertoire.

For housing and travel information, see Festival Logistics