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Welcome to Other Minds ®, a global New Music community where composers, students, and listeners discover and learn about innovative music by composers from all over the world.

Other Minds is a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in San Francisco. We thank our many loyal supporters for their commitment to encouraging and propagating new and unusual music.

– Charles Amirkhanian, Executive & Artistic Director

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OM 22: Concert 2 at the Mission Dolores Basilica on May 20th. Photo by Mike Melnyk. © 2017 Other Minds 


Thanks to all of you for making the Other Minds Festival 22 such an overwhelming success; we had our largest audiences in OM history! Despite claims to the contrary, new/classical/outsider music is not relegated to the dustbin. 

Reviews of OM 22:   ARTSF   |   The Rehearsal Studio   |   New Music Buff

OM 23 is now in the planning stages for April 11-14, 2018, focusing on Sound Poetry. It will feature a roster of acclaimed international arts and presented in the beautifully remodeled ODC Theater. 

We look forward to seeing you in the coming year!

Lou Harrison Centennial Website

Other Minds has launched a group-sourced calendar featuring events honoring the legendary American composer.

We invite you to list your events taking place between now and the end of 2017, learn more about Harrison's work, find other events celebrating his life and identify opportunities for collaboration.In collaboration with the David Brower Center we will be continuing with our Nature of Music Series. On November 9th, Annea Lockwood will be with us for a listening and talking session (details below).


Annea Lockwood: It's Only Natural

With the advent of the portable cassette player in 1970, a veritable explosion of interest in capturing, incorporating, and deploying the music of nature has transformed the work of living composers–in effect, blurring the boundaries between art and nature. Consequently, Other Minds, in collaboration with the David Brower Center in Berkeley, has launched a series of concert/talks with composers who are redefining The Nature of Music.

We're thrilled to announce that one of the world's leading figures in this genre, New Zealand-born New Yorker Annea Lockwood, will present and discuss her music of the world's rivers on Thursday, November 9th, 7:00pm, in the Goldman Theater in Berkeley. Annea’s work is far-reaching in scope, ranging from works for conventional voices and instruments to graphic scores, electronics, and manipulated sounds, both natural and “unnatural.”   She'll also discuss her sound installation and a performance the following evening at The Lab in San Francisco, when she, William Winant and Fred Frith perform Jitterbug, the score of which is an actual striated rock, interpreted by the performers per her instructions.


“A Real Barnburner” for Phillip Glass' 80th year

When conductor/pianist Dennis Russell Davies directed our Lou Harrison concert in February he said, “You know I’m retiring from my regular [conducting] gig in Linz, and now I’d like to do a benefit for Other Minds.” He and his partner Maki Namekawa, both of whom work closely with Philip Glass, are flying back from Austria to perform a special concert of Glass’ music for two pianos in a very intimate setting for our fans. The event will take place 7:30pm, Wednesday December 6th at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, in honor of Glass’ 80th birthday. It will feature the suites from Jean Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terribles and La Belle et la Bête for two pianos and wind octet in its American premiere. In addition, a major work composed for the Davies-Namekawa duo–which Dennis fondly calls “a real barnburner!”–Four Movements for Two Pianos, will complete the program.

The Nature of Music, 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 Inaugural season of The Nature of Music in collaboration with the David Brower Center has come to its fascinating conclusion–a demonstration by Marielle V Jacobsons of her Macro-Cymatic Instrument–an instrument that visualize music into fluid motion and light painting, and work that was contemplative and subtle.

In our first season of five events we’ve hosted a wide variety of artists, their varying work illuminating differing environmental aspects. From polar specialist Cheryl Leonard’s Antarctic sound “orchestra” of ice, penguin bones, and stones, to Alvin Curran’s geographically specific and eclectic works and happenings, Raven Chacon’s personal evocation of the winds of the desert southwest, and Andrew Roth’s delicately composed Japanese sound worlds, we’ve only just begun to explore the confluence of music and the environment.


Lou Harrison: American Musical Maverick is a new biography of one of America’s most original and beloved composers, by Bill Alves and Brett Campbell, now available from Indiana University Press. In this biography, the authors follow Harrison’s life and career from the diverse streets of San Francisco to the competitive performance industry in New York, and his subsequent return to Aptos, California.

Lou Harrison discussion group on FacebookHave something to say about Lou? Join our discussion group on Facebook.



For a brief period between 1940 to 1954, the late lamented New York Herald Tribune had a staff of music critics selected by Virgil Thomson, most of whom were composers, and eccentric ones at that. This groundbreaking crew included Paul Bowles, Lou Harrison, John Cage, and Peggy Glanville-Hicks. These world premiere recorded performances, released by Columbia Records between 1953-55 are returned to circulation on Other Minds Records, accompanied by a 60 page booklet with essays by Virgil Thomson and Charles Amirkhanian. Seymour Barab, cello, and Lucille Lawrence, harp, had a hand in preparing the score and their performance still is unmatched on commercial recording. We proudly restore all five of these treasures into circulation, including Sonata for Piano & Percussion (Glanville-Hicks), String Quartet in Four Parts (Cage), Music for a Farce (Bowles), and, in anticipation of our sound poetry festival, Virgil Thomson's uproarious Capital Capitals for Four Men and a Piano (text by Gertrude Stein).

Read a review by The Rehearsal Studio.


The American Composers Forum has honored Charles Amirkhanian with the Champion of New Music Award for 2017. The ACF, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, selects individuals or organizations that have supported living composers in a significant way or have made notable contributions to the field of new music in general. The award was bestowed by ACF President John Nuechterlein at the final concert for OM 22 on May 20th, 2017, at the Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco, before a capacity crowd of 800.

OM is thankful for ACF's recognition of Charles' lifelong work in promoting and advocating for composers and their works, both new and old.

Charles Amirkhanian receives Champion of New Music Award by American Composer's Forum   

    Pictured (l to r): John Nuechterlein, President of the American Composers Forum; composer Vivian Fung, ACF Board member;
Other Minds' Executive and Artistic Director, Charles Amirkhanian.
Photo by Mike Melnyk. © 2017 Other Minds


Other Minds is on KALW with a series: "Music from Other Minds" - curated & hosted by Dennis Aman, Dan Becker and Richard Friedman every Friday night (Pacific time) at 11pm-12 Midnight. With a minimum of talk, hear the latest releases of contemporary music, sent to us from around the world by composers and record companies widening the continuum of modern music.

Listen live in the San Francisco Bay Area at 91.7 FM or hear the stream from their website. Our playlist is available at the "Music from Other Minds" website. You can also stream many of our 400+ past programs.

Visit our site to hear hundreds of hours of music & interviews from the archives of Other Minds. OM has been preserving recordings from the analog (and digital) eras and making them available for free streaming on radiOM. Listen to the work and words of maverick composers of the past such as Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, and Conlon Nancarrow. Hear performances of present day composers from Other Minds Festivals and events. Checkout the homepage for several highlighted listenings...

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Other Minds, 55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, Tel 415.934.8134
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