Zeitgeist's mission is to bring newly created music to life with performances that engage and stimulate.
Zeitgeist, a new music chamber ensemble consisting of two percussion, piano, woodwinds, and violin, is one of the oldest and most successful new music groups in the country and the only full-time chamber new music ensemble in the Twin Cities.
Founded in 1977, Zeitgeist is based in St. Paul and presents an annual concert series featuring newly created work and carries out a variety of community-based performance programs. Within our community, our role is to bring compelling and entertaining performances of contemporary music to our audiences and to further enrich the musical experience of these audiences through innovative programs designed to draw people into the music of our time. As a touring ensemble, Zeitgeist performs this same function for audiences throughout greater Minnesota and the nation.
Highlights of the 2014-2015 season at Studio Z will include New Discoveries, Old Favorites, with music by Jeffrey Lambert, Joshua Harris, Justin Rubin and Eleanor Hovda; Zeitgeist’s 6th Annual New Music Cabaret featuring performances by Zeitgeist and a host of other Twin Cities new music artists (Steve Kenny Quartet, Skeleton Crew, Enkidu String Quartet, Nautilus Music-Theater, Struck Percussion, Fat Kid Wednesdays, Yohannes Tona, and ANCIA Saxophone Quartet); Playing it Close to Home, featuring works by Abbie Betinis plus winning compositions from our ever-popular Eric Stokes Song Contest; Zeitgeist’s Early Music Festival, a four-day festival celebrating the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen; Tipping Point, celebrating a decade of collaboration with composer Scott Miller; and Ghost Camp by Craig Carnahan, a narrative opera based on writings of Walt Whitman featuring Zeitgiest and The Singers MCA. Other performances and projects include educational residencies with the Perpich Center for Arts Education, a residency at UM-Duluth, and regional tours of For the Birds (with Kevin Kling and Victor Zupanc and Summer Rain (with Nirmala Rajasekar). Active at home and throughout the state, Zeitgeist will present 35-40 performances, two festivals, conduct a month-long educational residency, and carry out several workshops to develop new work.
Zeitgeist has developed several audience-building programs designed to create connections with communities, diversify audiences and encourage individuals to participate in the creative process of music-making. These programs include the Eric Stokes Song Contest (amateur composition contest), Making Music Outside the Lines (new music performance activities for high school students) and Departure Point (a long-term composition project with students from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts). In addition, Zeitgeist operates Studio Z, a performance space where audiences, composers, and new music performers can come together to experience the music of our time. Studio Z is home to most of Zeitgeist’s local performances and also hosts new music performances by other local artists throughout the year.