New music ensemble shuts down in Boston

New music ensemble shuts down in Boston


norman lebrecht

July 04, 2022

Boston Music Viva is no more.

Jeremy Eichler writes in the Globe: ‘… in March 2020, (Richard Pittman, who for decades has also directed the New England Philharmonic and the Concord Symphony, suffered a stroke at the age of 84. Since then, he has been forced to step back from the public eye, and from all of his conducting duties.

‘And earlier this month, Boston Musica Viva made the momentous decision to cease operations.

‘Boston is losing an essential purveyor of invigorating new music — after 51 years, 109 commissions, 20 recordings, and 243 world premieres. Until now, BMV has stood as the country’s oldest professional ensemble dedicated to contemporary music….’



  • Larry says:

    Dick Pittman also was on the faculty of New England Conservatory for many years.

  • william osborne says:

    The last Operabase stats ranked Boston 252nd in the world for number of opera performances per year. Our big American center of culture.

    • words matter says:

      How is that germane to the subject? With a few honorable exceptions, did Boston Musica Viva actually perform much opera?

      • William Osborne says:

        Opera is an additional measure of the city’s cultural support. We might also note that major cities in Europe comparable to Boston usually have multiple full time orchestras instead of just one. Now put your head back in the sand and pretend its all irrelevant.

        • Just another dead soul says:

          William, you often state that joining an orchestra, especially an opera orchestra, is musical death for the musician.

          Why do you quote German opera and orchestra statistics constantly when you believe each one is a graveyard for a musical and artistic soul?

    • YB Schragadove says:

      Opera in Boston is a totally different story…

  • Leslie says:

    When so much is dependent on one person is a risky business. Especially for music that is somewhat elitist.

  • Liam Allan-Dalgleish says:

    Let’s face it. As I write this, a half dozen people lie dead in Chicago and two-dozen more wounded from gunfire—an ambush—an ambush by the United States Supreme Court, an institution that condones free access to weapons so people can kill one another for no reason while it forbids abortion; it protects the lives of poor children so that some may live out their lives in misery. This represents the will of many Americans. Do you think those people are going to see and subsidize the great intellectual and emotional beauty to be found in music?

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Let’s call it what it is: The corrupt, illegitimate Republican Party/John Roberts Supreme Court.

      Not to be confused with the United States Supreme Court, which died in 2015, with the final blow delivered by Moscow Mitch McConnell.

  • Norman says:

    Our music is dying