In 1996, Gil Rose set out to restore a widening disconnect between contemporary audiences and contemporary music—a relatively recent trend in the rich history of orchestras. The result was the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and a new orchestral model. Ten years later, BMOP remains dedicated to its mission and is considered by many to be the leading orchestra for commissioning, performing, and recording modern orchestral music.
April 1996 Premiere Performance of BMOP
American Retrospectives I features works by Ruggles, Copland, Rochberg, and Torke. BMOP has performed more than 50 concert programs featuring works by more than 100 composers.
October 1997 BMOP Opens its First Season
BMOP stakes its claim in Boston with trademark thematic programming: Boston Uncommon I, The Clash: The Convergence of Classical and Rock 'n' Roll, and Interface: The Influence of Technology in Music of the 20th Century.
December 1998 Best New Group in Boston
The Boston Globe names BMOP the Best New Group in Boston for the second consecutive year.
February 1998 Inaugural Commissioning, Performing, and Recording Project
BMOP completes its first commissioning, performing, and recording project: Reza Vali's Flute Concerto. BMOP has performed 42 world premieres, including 19 commissioned works, and has recorded more than 40 works for commercial release.
May 1999 NEC Past, Present & Future
NEC names BMOP its Affiliate Orchestra for New Music, a partnership that has resulted in 9 Boston Connection concerts, an annual concerto competition and composition contest for NEC students, and numerous commissioning and recording projects with NEC faculty and alumni composers.
March 2000 New York Debut
BMOP makes its New York debut on Miller Theatre's Composer Portraits series, performing Bernard Rands's Canti Trilogy.
May 2000 Vanessa
Opera Boston (then Boston Academy of Music) and BMOP co-produce the Samuel Barber's Vanessa. The success of this production inspired the companies to launch Opera Unlimited, a new festival of contemporary chamber opera.
May 2000 Performance at the ASOL Conference
BMOP is one of three orchestras invited to perform at the 2000 American Symphony Orchestra League conference in Boston. The Boston Globe reported "a member of a panel afterward said it may have been the single best concert he had ever heard."
May 2001 Symphony Hall Debut
BMOP makes its Symphony Hall debut as part of Boston's Cyberarts Festival. BMOP has also appeared at the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh, PA), the Fromm Players at Harvard, the Bank of America Celebrity Series, and Tanglewood.
March & July 2002 Tanglewood Debut
BMOP performs Lukas Foss's Griffelkin in celebration of the composer's 80th birthday and repeats the performance for Tanglewood's tribute to Lukas Foss.
October 2002 BMOP Releases First Commercial Recording
Naxos releases BMOP's first world premiere recording, George Rochberg's Black Sounds. In the following four years BMOP released twelve more CDs. BMOP released twelve additional titles in less than four years. BMOP's recordings have been acclaimed by The New York Times (Best CDs of 2003), The Chicago Tribune (Best CDs of 2004), Gramophone, Fanfare, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Out New York (Best CDs of 2004), The Boston Globe (Best CDs of 2003), Paris Transatlantic Monthly, LA Weekly, Opera Now, BBC Music, and American Record Guide.
November 2002 & March 2003 Fromm Players at Harvard
Harvard University invites BMOP to perform two concerts honoring the composers included on the Charles Eliot Norton Lecture series. BMOP's residency at Harvard also included working with graduate composers, culminating in a performance of new works in May 2003.
February 2003 Eric Chasalow: Left to His Own Devices
New World Records releases BMOP's recording of Eric Chasalow's Dream Songs.
April 2003 Toy Symphony
In collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, Boys & Girls Clubs of greater Boston, and the Codman Square Health Center, BMOP organizes its first composer residencies. Using MIT Media Lab's Hyperscore software program, the project culminated in Tod Machover's multi-media performance Toy Symphony. This performance was repeated one month later in the Winter Garden at New York's World Financial Center.
May 2003 Tod Machover: Hyperstring Trilogy
Oxingale releases BMOP's recording of Tod Machover's Hyperstring Trilogy.
May 2003 Lukas Foss: Griffelkin
Chandos releases BMOP's recording of Lukas Foss's Griffelkin, hailed as one of the best CDs of 2003 by The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and The Boston Phoenix.
June 2003 Opera Unlimited
BMOP and Opera Boston launch Opera Unlimited, a new festival of contemporary chamber opera that was awarded the Opera America Success Award for 2004. The festival featured five fully staged productions including the world premieres of operas by Daniel Pinkham and Elena Ruehr.
October 2003 Ulysses
BMOP presents the first complete performance of John Harbison's ballet Ulysses and makes its first live recording for commercial release.
October 2003 Arthur Berger: The Complete Orchestral Music
New World Records releases BMOP's recording of Arthur Berger's complete orchestral works, a The New York Times pick for 2003 and a Chicago Tribune pick for 2004.
November 2003 Downtown
BMOP launches its innovative Club Concert series at Club Café's Moonshine Room. The sold-out series is now entering its third season.
January 2004 Collaboration with Codman Academy Charter School
Codman Academy Charter School and BMOP collaborate on a semester-long composition curriculum. Using John Adams' Nixon in China as a model, the students compose, record, and perform their own hip-hop opera. The collaboration is now part of Codman's ongoing humanities curriculum.
February 2004 Lee Hyla: Trans
New World Records releases BMOP's recording of Lee Hyla's Trans, Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, and Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
March 2004 Nixon in China
BMOP and Opera Boston perform the New England premiere of John Adams's Nixon in China, the first new production since the Peter Sellers premiere.
May 2004 Reza Vali: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Deylámân, Folk Songs (Set No. 10)
Naxos releases BMOP's recording of Reza Vali's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Deylámân, and Folk Songs (Set No. 10).
October 2004 Bernard Rands: Canti Trilogy
Arsis Audio releases BMOP's recording of Bernard Rands's Canti Trilogy, cited by Time Out New York as one of the best CDs of 2004.
November 2004 West Coast Debut
The Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA) invites BMOP to perform Bernard Rands's Canti Trilogy for their celebration of the composer's 70th birthday.
April 2005 Steven Mackey: Banana/Dump Truck
Albany releases BMOP's recording of Steven Mackey's Banana/Dump Truck and Deal.
May 2005 Takemitsu Tribute
In collaboration with the Japan Society of Boston, BMOP honors the 75th anniversary of Toru Takemitsu's birth with a program featuring the composer's November Steps with Japanese master musicians Kifu Mitsuhashi, shakuhachi, and Yukio Tanaka, biwa, as well as the Boston premiere of Tan Dun's Water Concerto.
August 2005 Stephen Paulus: The Five Senses
Arsis releases BMOP's recording of Stephen Paulus' The Five Senses - Windows of the Mind and Age of American Passions.
November 2005 Trilogy of the Last Day
BMOP hosts the Amsterdam-based composer Louis Andriessen and guest artist Tomoko Mukiyama for the North American premiere of Andriessen's Trilogy of the Last Day.
May 2006 John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music
After receiving eight consecutive ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming, BMOP is presented with ASCAP's highest honor, the John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music at the 2006 American Symphony Orchestra League conference in Los Angeles.
July 2006 Shih-Hui Chen: 66 Times
Albany releases BMOP's recording of Shih-Hui Chen's 66 Times and Fu II.
June 2006 Angels in America
BMOP and Opera Boston's second Opera Unlimited festival presents the North American premiere of Peter Eötvös' Angels in America.
October 2006 Evan Ziporyn: Frog's Eye
Cantaloupe releases BMOP's recording of Evan Ziporyn's Frog's Eye, Drill, The Ornate Zither and the Nomad Flute, and War Chant.
October 2006 Elena Ruehr: Toussaint Before the Spirits
Arsis releases BMOP and Opera Boston's recording of Elena Ruehr's Toussaint Before the Spirits.
October 2006 Music Alive Composer Residency with Lisa Bielawa
Composer Lisa Bielawa begins her three-year residency with BMOP. BMOP is one of only three orchestras nationwide to receive a three-year residency grant with a single composer from Music Alive, a national program of Meet the Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League. Lisa's residency will include curating BMOP Club Concerts and teaching composition at Boston Arts Academy, and will culminate in two BMOP commissions and a commercial CD release.