Society for New Music

Society for New Music
Abbreviation SNM
Formation 1971 (1971)
Founder Neva Pilgrim
Founded at Syracuse, New York, United States
  • 438 Brookford Rd.
    Syracuse, NY 13224
Coordinates 43°02′07″N 76°05′51″W / 43.035172°N 76.097489°W / 43.035172; -76.097489
Central New York
Rob Bridge
Vice Presidents
  • Edward Ruchalski
  • David Stam
Jenny Doctor
David Abrams
Main organ
Executive Committee

The Society for New Music (SNM) is a contemporary classical music organization based in Syracuse, New York. SNM presents concerts devoted entirely to contemporary music, funds commissions, produces recordings[1][2] and presents awards to young composers.[3]


SNM was founded in 1971 by Neva Pilgrim with the main purpose of promoting contemporary music in the Central New York Region.[4]

Mission and Work

SNM commissions new works, and advocates for composers through Society News (their in-house print and digital publication) and via their radio show, Fresh Ink.[5] on WCNY-FM.[6] SNM provides regional musicians with opportunities to perform music by their peers. Works are offered on television, radio, and live performances.


Since its inception, SNM has commissioned new works by over fifty composers from the Central New York region, including faculty from Syracuse University, the Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, and many other schools in the area.[7] Many of the composers have won significant awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize in music.

SNM Commissioned Composers


The Society for New Music has released recordings on a variety of labels, including Innova Recordings, Composers Recordings, Inc. (CRI) and Mode Records. SNM's "American Masters for the 21st Century" on Innova currently includes five albums dedicated to music by living American composers.

Brian Israel Prize

Since 1985, SNM has awarded prizes to composers under age 30. The annual award honors the memory of American composer Brian Israel "who died from leukemia at the age of 35 in in 1986. He was on Syracuse University's School of Music faculty at the time of his death. During his short life, Israel championed gifted emerging composers."[8] Winners receive performances of a chamber work, either of the work that won the award, or a different work.

Brian Israel Prize Winners and Honorable Mentions


  1. "Neva Pilgrim, Soprano". DRAM. DRAM. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  2. "Society for New Music". Innova. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  3. "Society for New Music - About". Society for New Music. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  4. Duffie, Bruce. "Soprano Neva Pilgrim: A Conversation with Bruce Duffie". Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  5. "Fresh Ink Broadcasts". Society for New Music. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  6. Dubnoff, Haley. "WCNY-FM host Neva Pilgrim honored by The Syracuse Sounds of Music Association". WCNY. WCNY. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  7. PRB. "Society for New Music Archives, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries". Syracuse University. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  8. Johnson, Melinda. "Two young composers win Brian M. Israel Prize; Society for New Music to perform pieces". The Post Standard. Advance Digital. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
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