To support local composers by presenting concerts of their original works, to promote and facilitate interaction by local composers with other artists, performers, and arts organizations, and to educate the community about new music.
The Baltimore Composers Forum is dedicated to supporting 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.
The History of the Baltimore Composers Forum:
In hoping to recreate the camaraderie she experienced while a graduate student at Peabody Conservatory, composer Dawn Culbertson banded together with five other composers in the fall of 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 six different composers. Baltimore audiences saw three more concerts during that initial year, including one that featured the music of John Cage. It was at this event that our name, the Baltimore Composers Forum, first appeared.
By 1996, BCF had grown from its original six members to a robust organization of 50. Expansion across central Maryland was rapid, from one venue holding multiple concerts to one venue per concert. Goucher College, the Creative Alliance, U.M.B.C., An die Musik, and Free Fall Baltimore have all generously hosted BCF performances. In addition to formal concerts, BCF also organized reading sessions and collaborated with local dance ensembles and choreographers to inject new life into contemporary music.
While live, in-person concerts constituted most of BCF’s services in the early years, the organization diversified its offerings by the mid-2000s. Venturing into the world of TV, BCF presented special performances twice on Maryland Public Television.
By the late 2010s, BCF had presented numerous works by Maryland natives and international composers, both in-person and virtually. As the organization’s services expanded, so did its membership, with more composers and ensembles joining the group.
All public BCF concerts have been organized around various themes ranging from traditional solo and ensemble pieces to interactive computer and multi-media works. As BCF enters its 30th year, the vision of Dawn Culbertson is as alive, well and forward-looking as ever. With over one thousand original works presented by Baltimore area composers so far, BCF is hoping to continue fulfilling its mission for thousands more.
The Baltimore Composers Forum (BCF) does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.