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San Diego New Music Staff

Charissa Noble, Executive Director
Zane Shrem-Besnoy, Director of Public Relations

San Diego New Music Board of Directors

Madelyn Byrne, President
Christopher Adler, Secretary/Treasurer
Lisa Cella, Artistic Director, soundON Festival
Rachel Allen, board member
Christian Hertzog, board member
Varun Rangaswamy, board member
Ryan Simmons, board member
Eric Starr, board member and former Executive Director (2013-2022)


Nathan Brock (1977-2012), Executive Director emeritus


San Diego New Music is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the public performance of notated music of the highest integrity and artistic caliber from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We seek to advance the art form by promoting music composed with conceptual rigor, passionate energy, and singular artistic vision. SDNM enriches the artistic culture of San Diego through the presentation of an annual concert series and the annual soundON Festival, and through fostering its resident performing ensemble, NOISE.


Each concert on our annual concert series is curated a San Diego-based artists selected by the board, and features performers from the San Diego community and beyond. Our primary venue is the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, a beautiful and intimate space ideally suited to the presentation of chamber music.


Our performers live in San Diego or are former San Diego residents, and are also members of prominent institutions such as the San Diego Symphony, the La Jolla Symphony, the University of California San Diego and the University of San Diego, and are committed to bringing excellent contemporary music to the San Diego community. The artists provide our talent as well as the vision to program creatively.


We support to work of young and emerging composers in San Diego by seeking out composers at the high school and undergraduate level and promoting their music. We offer premieres of these works on our concert series and also commission young composers to write music for our events.


NOISE is a chamber ensemble of accomplished specialists in the performance of contemporary music from across the United States. Established in 2000 as the ensemble-in-residence with San Diego New Music, NOISE presents concerts that are energetic and engaging as well as intellectually stimulating and technically sophisticated. We believe that music which is sometimes called complex, difficult, or avant-garde is accessible to any audience when performed with passion and conviction. Our vision for NOISE is to develop new repertoire through collaboration with an ever widening pool of composers, both established and emerging, through residencies across the United States and internationally, and to professionally record the repertoire of composers to whose work we are particularly committed.

The soundON Festival

With the presentation of the annual soundON Festival, we present challenging and visionary repertoire by young and emerging composers alongside the visionary masters of the 20th century. Featuring performances by NOISE, affiliated artists and special guests, the multi-day festival format allows us to present unconventional works in an informal and enjoyable setting. The festival has been presented annually since 2006, including on-line events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I salute the soundON Festival for not only mounting this piece but also giving it such a splendid incarnation. Soprano Alice Teyssier’s dramatic virtusosity illuminated every one of the 21 movements with passionate vocal finesse, shifting with confidence from full voice, to Sprechstimme, to chilling stage whispers. She encompassed the irony, the humor and the grotesque qualities of both poet and composer. Under the baton of McAllister, the instrumental quintet ably matched Teyssier’s performance virtues, supplying panache and precision upon demand." - Ken Herman on Pierrot Lunaire and the 2014 soundON Festival, in San Diego Story




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