Zeitgeist’s mission is to enliven today’s music and expand its public with performances that engage, stimulate, and hearten.
Zeitgeist, a new music chamber ensemble consisting of two percussion, piano, woodwinds, and violin, is one of the oldest and most successful new music groups in the country and the only full-time chamber new music ensemble in the Twin Cities.
Founded in 1977, Zeitgeist is based in St. Paul and presents an annual concert series featuring newly created work and carries out a variety of community-based performance programs. Within our community, our role is to bring compelling and entertaining performances of contemporary music to our audiences and to further enrich the musical experience of these audiences through innovative programs designed to draw people into the music of our time. As a touring ensemble, Zeitgeist performs this same function for audiences throughout greater Minnesota and the nation.
Highlights of the 2012-2013 season at Studio Z include New Music Harvest- with music by Anna Clyne, Narong Prangcharoen, Lee Hyla, Brooke Joyce and Marc Mellits, Zeitgeist’s New Music Cabaret-featuring performances by Zeitgeist and a host of other Twin Cities new music artists (Orange Mighty Trio, Saltee, Ensemble 61, Atlantis Quartet, Duo Xena, Carei Thomas, and the Bill Simenson Orchestra), Playing it Close to Home-featuring works by Jeffrey Brooks and winning compositions from our Eric Stokes Song Contest, Zeitgeist’s Early Music Festival-a four-day festival celebrating early electronic music, and Early Inspirations, a collaboration between Zeitgeist and early music ensemble Flying Forms. The season will close with Inuksuit by John Luther Adams-a work for 9-99 percussionists to be performed at Fort Snelling State Park. Other performances and projects include an appearance at SEAMUS, educational residencies with the Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts and the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and a regional tour of For the Birds.
Zeitgeist has developed several audience-building programs designed to create connections with communities, diversify audiences and encourage individuals to participate in the creative process of music-making. These programs include the Eric Stokes Song Contest (amateur composition contest), Making Music Outside the Lines (new music performance activities for high school students) and Departure Point (a long-term composition project with students from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts). In addition, Zeitgeist operates Studio Z, a performance space where audiences, composers, and new music performers can come together to experience the music of our time. Studio Z is home to most of Zeitgeist’s local performances and also hosts new music performances by other local artists throughout the year.