Knoxville, TN - The 2016 nief-norf Summer Festival (nnSF) returns to Knoxville featuring 8 concerts, 9 lectures, and 10 world premieres from June 7 - 19.

The nief-norf Summer Festival (nnSF) is an interdisciplinary summer music festival, which brings together dozens of performers, composers, and scholars to collaborate on the performance, creation, and discussion of contemporary solo and chamber music. The nnSF is held in the beautiful facilities of the University of Tennessee’s Haslam Music Center (Knoxville, TN) and presents inspired and devoted performances of modern music, aiming to encourage both appreciation and support for live music and contemporary art.

Since its inception in the summer of 2011, the festival’s performance, composition, and research seminars have attracted undergraduates, graduates, and professionals from institutions across the United States and abroad. Each summer, these performance fellows present some of the most challenging and boundary-pushing contemporary music, including world premieres of works by composer fellows at the nief-norf Summer Festival.

As former performance fellow Joshua Spaulding recalls, I can’t think of another festival in the country that has such an amazing atmosphere, incredible faculty, and the opportunity to play 4-5 concerts of splendid music in the span of 10 days!” Artistic Director Andrew Bliss explains that this festival is designed as a think-tank environment for performers, composers, scholars, and lovers of contemporary music. We are very fortunate to have our festival hosted in Knoxville –– a city with an unquenchable thirst for new music and an incredible curiosity for the unfamiliar and the experimental.” In addition to concerts and lectures at the University of Tennessee, the festival is excited to offer events throughout the Knoxville community – at locations including the Square Room, Ijams Nature Center, the Joy of Music School, Emporium Arts Center, and Jackson Terminal.

The festival features a wide range of instrumentalists as well as ten composition fellows and regular visiting scholars who will collectively offer 8 concerts throughout the 13-day festival. One significant highlight of the festival will include an outdoor sound installation Wild Energy by Annea Lockwood and Bob Bielecki at Ijams Nature Center on Saturday, June 11 from 5pm-8pm, followed by Iannis Xenakis’s Pleaides in the Ijams outdoor amphitheater at 8:30pm. We invite guests to bring blankets or lawn chairs to comfortably enjoy the evening’s events. The festival’s final marathon concert at Jackson Terminal will conclude with a performance of Xenakis’ Persephassa, a 30-minute masterwork for percussion sextet.

Nief-Norf thanks the UT School of Music for hosting this festival’s daily events and preparations. Unless otherwise noted, all events occur in UT’s Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall and tickets are $10 advance online / $15 door. The marathon event at Jackson Terminal is  $20 in advance / $30 at the door. A VIP Festival Pass allows entry into all events for $50.

For more information, please visit or contact Andrew Bliss, nnSF Artistic Director, at Regular news surrounding the nief-norf Summer Festival, as well as the organization’s yearly activities, can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @niefnorf. Buy tickets at




nief-norf Summer Festival 2016 Events


Concert One: nief-norf Summer Festival Opening Concert (festival faculty)

            Tuesday, June 7 @ 7:30 PM - UT’s Powell Recital Hall

Featuring music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Tonia Ko, David Lang, Christopher Adler, Christopher Burns. Tickets: $10 advance / $15 door.


Concert Two: Astro-Bio-Geo-Physical Opening Concert

            Friday, June 10 @ 7:30 PM - UT’s Powell Recital Hall

Featuring works by Annea Lockwood, John Luther Adams, Tonia Ko, Matthew Burtner, Donnacha Dennehy. Tickets: $10 advance / $15 door.


nnSF Research Summit: Astro-Bio-Geo-Physical Music

Saturday, June 11 a UT Powell Recital Hall

All lectures are in Rm. 68 and all performances are in UT Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall. Featuring a keynote by Douglas Kahn and composer Annea Lockwood. Open to the public. Full schedule:


Concert Three: WILD ENERGY and PLEIADES at Ijams Nature Center

            Saturday, June 11 @ 5:30 PM - Ijams Nature Center

            Featuring Annea Lockwood and Bob Bielecki’s installation Wild Energy, 5pm-8pm and Iannis Xenakis’ Pleaides at 8:30pm. Suggested donation: $10


Concert Four: Change/Derive/Vary

Tuesday, June 14 @ 7:30 PM - UT’s Powell Recital Hall

Featuring works by Pierre Boulez, Judd Greenstein, and two nnSF International Call for Scores winners. Tickets: $10 advance / $15 door.


Concert Five: Same is not the Same at the Emporium Arts Center

            Wednesday, June 15 @ 7:30 PM – Emporium Arts Center

Featuring works by Michael Gordon, Kate Soper, Salvatore Sciarrino one nnSF International Call for Scores winners. Tickets: $10 advance / $15 door


Concert Six: Music of a Place at the Square Room

Thursday, June 16 @ 7:30 PM – The Square Room

Tickets $10 available in advance at - $15 at the door 

Featuring works by Christopher Cerrone, Michael Gordon, Charles Wuorinen, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. Tickets: $10 advance / $15 door


Concert Seven: World Premieres            Friday, June 17 @ 7:30 PM - UT’s Powell Recital Hall

            Featuring 10 world premieres by nnSF Composition Fellows. Tickets: $10 advance / $15 door


Concert Eight: Final Marathon at Jackson Terminal

            Sunday, June 19 @ 3:00 PM – Jackson Terminal

Featuring music by Luciano Berio, Ashley Fure, Caroline Shaw, Marc Mellits, Nicole Murphy (nnSF Call for Score winner), Iannis Xenakis, Louis Andriessen, Philippe Hurel & much more. Marathon tickets: $20 advance / $30 door