About the
Baltimore Composers Forum

The Baltimore Composers Forum (BCF) was founded in 1993. The BCF mission is to support local composers by presenting concerts of their original works, promoting and facilitating interaction by local composers with other artists, performers and arts organizations and educating the community about new music. Since its inception, the BCF has presented over one thousand original works by Baltimore area composers. BCF’s public concerts have been organized around various themes ranging from traditional solo and ensemble pieces to interactive computer and multi-media works. We hope that you will consider joining the Baltimore Composers Forum, which you can find out more about here.

History of the Baltimore Composers Forum

Composer Dawn Culbertson, hoping to recreate the camaraderie she experienced while a graduate student at Peabody Conservatory, banded together with five other composers in October 1992 with the idea of forming a group to assist in getting their work heard.That group, the Baltimore Composers Coalition, held its first concert on May 16, 1993 at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels Great Hall, featuring ten works by seven different composers. Performed were works for piano, harpsichord, recorder, and tape: many of them world premières.The second concert was programmed a month later, featuring eleven works by eleven different composers. That year saw two more concerts, including one that featured the music of John Cage. It was at this event that our name, the Baltimore Composers Forum, first appeared. These too, were held at St. Michael and All Angels, the first venue of choice for the fledgling organization.The four 1994 concerts were at St. Michael and All Angels as well, but of the six events in 1995, two were held at the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Baltimore.

By 1996, the membership had grown to 50. Each of the five concerts were held at a different venue. That trend continued in 1997, with six performances being held at various locations.

The venues expanded to Goucher College, the Creative Alliance, U.M.B.C., An die Musik and Free Fall Baltimore. In addition, BCF programmed reading sessions as well as collaborations with dance ensembles and choreographers, and was represented twice on Maryland Public Television. In addition, BCF presented works by international composers and had work performed by international ensembles.

As BCF enters its 30th year, the vision of Dawn Culbertson is alive and well and is as forward-looking as ever.

Historical overview was written by George Spicka.