Since 1998, Fulcrum Point has challenged the Chicago music scene to explore the adventurous possibilities of music. We offer our unwavering support to new music composers and improvisers through multimedia performances and commissioning of new works. Our educational programs help aspiring composers and curious minds explore new facets of themselves and their musical expression. Through engaging this broad spectrum of art forms and artists, Fulcrum Point speaks to our time.
Our founding mission is to find insight into today’s diverse world through the connections of music, culture, and creative expression.
“No performing arts group in the city has more avidly explored the cutting-edge connections among the world of new classical music, pop culture, technology, and other fields than the Fulcrum Point New Music Project.” – John von Rhein
When Fulcrum Point was established, Chicago’s new music scene was still in an early stage of development. Chicago has a formidable reputation as a creative incubator, but no group was exploring the complete spectrum of musical possibility—it was dominated by an academic contemporary canon. Composers in genres such as minimalism, neo-classicism, neo-romanticism, postmodernism, and multimedia art had few resources for support.
“Stephen Burns’ intrepid chamber ensemble has made a mark in Chicago, providing a bracing shot of youthful adrenaline to the local music scene and drawing a loyal audience to the group’s imaginative concerts.” -Chicago Sun Times
Performing Arts Chicago recognized that this community needed someone to champion their work. They gave our founder Stephen Burns a mandate: redefine the concert experience and showcase the diversity of new music in Chicago.
With Fulcrum Point, he created opportunities for development and performance for these adventurous composers. Audiences responded enthusiastically to new formats, including concert/dance parties, multimedia events, and dramatic stagings of broad, thematic programs. Before long, Fulcrum Point reinvigorated the new music scene.
Now in our 20th year, Fulcrum Point continues to grow. We embrace a broad range of experimental styles and multimedia content. We foster cultural exchange and community building. We create dynamic new programming with an emphasis on cross-cultural exchanges, improvisation, technology, and collaboration. As a result of this work, we have been honored with the prestigious BMI and ASCAP music awards. You can find us presenting new music in a variety of settings, including The Promontory, The Field Museum, Constellation, Old St. Pat’s, SPACE, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and Thalia Hall.
Since its beginnings, humanity has embraced the exploration of new ideas. We at Fulcrum Point invite you to use this challenging music to explore new parts of yourself. It will take you on a journey of creative expression, community building, and self-discovery.
Join our adventure in new art music!