New Amsterdam Records is a non-profit-model record label and artists’ service organization that supports the public’s engagement with new music by composers and performers whose work grows from the fertile ground between genres. New Amsterdam helps to spread the awareness of this music through the presentation of concerts and premiere commercial recordings of new compositions, written and performed by highly-trained musicians with diverse musical backgrounds. Through these activities, New Amsterdam acts as a conduit between musicians and the public, promoting a wider awareness of these artists’ sophisticated, adventurous new music with an open embrace of the latest technological and cultural trends.
Over the past three years, New Amsterdam’s catalogue has grown to include nearly two dozen artists, including soloists and orchestras, small and large ensembles, big bands and rock bands, pop vocalists and opera singers. Far from crafting a label “sound”, this diverse catalogue reflects New Amsterdam’s commitment to supporting and nurturing projects that wholly fulfill the intent of their creators, disregarding existing genre norms and open to all influences from the entire world of music. This is music without filters, made by musicians who bring the breadth of their listening experience and the love they have for many different kinds of music into their own playing, writing, and producing. It is music without walls, without an agenda, and without a central organizing principle. New Amsterdam strives to develop as quickly and as broadly as the music itself, opening doors for artists to enter, creating new spaces for them to fill, and touching the outer edges where musics meet.
The critical response to this new model has been outstanding, with label and artist features on NPR’s All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Studio 360, in prominent print publications such asNewsweek, the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Alarm Magazine, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York, and in tastemaker online magazines such as The Awl, PopMatters, BlackBook, 17 dots, the Indie Handbook, textura, and NewMusicBox, in addition to album reviews and write-ups in hundreds of publications worldwide. Newsweek’s Seth Colter Walls called New Amsterdam “an upstart label that’s been releasing one quality disc after another since its founding”, and the Sunday New York Times lauded our first slate of releases in two separate year-end best-of articles. Through a distribution relationship with Naxos of America, as well as through an online store and streaming “radio station”, New Amsterdam has brought new music to thousands of listeners in a wide variety of formats and platforms.
As a presenting organization, New Amsterdam has given over 40 concerts of groundbreaking new music, featuring world premieres, semi-staged operas, record releases, special one-off shows, music festivals, and chamber music series. Highlights include 2009′s Undiscovered Islands series, a month of record releases and world premiere events, and the 2009-10 Archipelago series, a full season of new chamber music featuring, among others, Nadia Sirota, Roomful of Teeth, Tristan Perich, NOW Ensemble, Son Lux, Corey Dargel with ICE, and Craig Wedren with ACME. In early 2011, New Amsterdam will be an associate presenter of the Ecstatic Music Festival, presented by the Kaufman Center at New York’s acclaimed Merkin Concert Hall. This unprecedented event will bring together artists with classical and non-classical backgrounds for collaborative evenings that allow the participants to explore new musical territory (scheduled collaborations include So Percussion/Dan Deacon, Clogs/Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Nico Muhly/Valgeir Sigurðsson/Chiara String Quartet, and many more). As part of its ongoing programming, New Amsterdam has made a priority of forming partnerships with other like-minded organizations, including Cantaloupe Music (the label of Bang on a Can), MATA, Galapagos Art Space, Minneapolis’s Southern Theater, Nonclassical (UK), the Manhattan New Music Project, Search and Restore, and AMC’s Counterstream Radio.
New Amsterdam Records is co-directed by William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. For more information, visit the New Amsterdam website.