In 1998, acclaimed musician, conductor, and music educator Stephen Burns was invited by Performing Arts Chicago to create a series of innovative new music programs. From that auspicious beginning, Fulcrum Point was created, and it has grown into a critically acclaimed ensemble performing contemporary classical music in a variety of venues in the Chicago area. Now in its 19th year, Fulcrum Point has presented performances with settings as diverse as the Field Museum, Old St. Pat’s, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Ravinia Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, where the ensemble is a resident company.
Fulcrum Point became an independent organization in 2001. A Board of Directors was formed; the organization registered as a not-for-profit corporation with the Illinois Secretary of State, and hired a paid Executive Director. Fulcrum Point gained 501 (c) (3) status the following year, the Board of Directors grew from 3 to 10 members, and the first audit was completed in 2003. In 2004 Fulcrum Point launched its first independent season.
Fulcrum Point has worked with a number of community organizations including the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Humanities Festival, Snow City Arts Foundation, Merit School of Music, National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Cook County Correctional Facility to provide educational programs in conjunction with performances. Similarly, Fulcrum Point has also reached immigrant communities in the Chicago area by offering open rehearsals in community settings that enable audience members to meet the conductor and musicians, experience the rehearsal process, and learn more about the music. This is part of an ongoing initiative to link immigrants (a group often overlooked and underserved) with modern composers of their homeland as well as other cultures. Fulcrum Point programs are diverse in themes and music and attract audiences from the Chicago area and suburbs. The Fulcrum Point audience is increasingly diverse in age, ethnic background and musical interest. Fulcrum Point New Music Project is a proud member of New Music Chicago.