The Look + Listen Festival is an annual event dedicated to presenting contemporary music in contemporary art galleries. The Festival seeks to expand and engage audiences of 20th and 21st music by providing a unique opportunity to simultaneously experience a stimulating visual environment for new music and a vibrant aural context for contemporary visual art. Both artists and audiences enjoy performances by musicians of the highest caliber, who present a range of new music in New York City’s most prestigious art galleries. We are excited to continue to promote and encourage the appreciation of contemporary concert music created by emerging composers.
Founded in 2002 by David Gordon, he was inspired to create the Look and Listen Festival while attending a concert by Joan Tower at the DIA Center. Fascinated by the intimacy of the space and how prolonged viewing of the visual works enhanced and deepened the concert experience, he decided to produce the first edition of Look and Listen at ACE Gallery with fellow composer, Sean Carson. Since then, the festival has presented extraordinary musicians such as the Bang on a Can All Stars, eighth blackbird, JACK Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Phyllis Chen, Claire Chase, So Percussion, Meredith Monk, and the Tyshawn Sorey Trio. Concerts have taken place at BRIC House, Chelsea Art Museum, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, Robert Miller Gallery, and most recently at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
The Look + Listen Festival has received praise from The New York Times calling it a “winning formula”. WNYC’s John Schaefer, said, “The Look + Listen Festival stands out, even in a very crowded field, as a genuinely innovative series.” Time Out New York declared, “among the most appealing choices season after season is the short, but eventful Look + Listen Festival… a diverse range of new works are served up in the intimate settings of local modern art galleries.” The Festival has also been applauded in The New Yorker, Sequenza 21, and Seen and Heard International, I Care If You Listen and The Rest Is Noise by music critic Alex Ross.