New Classic Banjo Project

Michael Nix


Michael Nix Music

Commissioning Program 2019

June 1, 2019

Michael Nix announces the inception of the New Classic Banjo Project, with the commissioning of works by composers Jim Dalton, and Thomas Schuttenhelm. 

The New Classic Banjo Project was instituted to develop and record a modern classical banjo repertoire. Compositions will be commissioned for Banjar, (a seven-string classical banjo designed by Michael Nix), the traditional nylon strung five-string classical banjo, the six-string guitar banjo and other banjo hybrids.  Nix will perform the new repertoire in festivals, conferences, and concerts.

 A first round of premier New Classic Banjo Project concerts and recordings are planned for late fall 2019, and early winter 2020.

Views: 39

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

September 1, 2019.

Jim Dalton delivered a two movement piece based on the inscription on Pete Seeger's banjo head "This Machine Surrounds Hate and Forces it to Surrender":


 1. Surrounding Hate

2. Forcing it to Surrender


Thomas Schuttenhelm has completed and delivered:


Keningale's Mystery Serenade 
Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934) was an American writer and journalist and the son of novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. In his story “Ken’s Mystery” (1883) the protagonist Keningale describes his encounter with a two-hundred year old woman, Ethelind, who was “awakened from her centuries of sleep” by a song he played on his banjo. Shortly after Keningale’s serenade to Ethelind he discovered that the banjo appeared to age two-hundred years. This song-serenade is a reimagining of the mystery, music, and mutations, that were enacted upon Keningale’s strange banjo.  




 Jim Dalton

American composer Jim Dalton is a professor of music theory at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. His works are performed by soloists and ensembles throughout the US, Canada, and in Europe, including venues such as Musique Nouvelles, Lunel, France; the Kansas Symposium of New Music; Sound: Scotland’s Festival of New Music; and Akademie der Tonkunst (Darmstadt, Germany). He has enjoyed recent premieres by Aaron Larget-Caplan, Carson Cooman, Sharan Leventhal, Stephen Altoft, Transient Canvas, and Scottish Voices.

Dalton is an active performer (solo, chamber, orchestra) on guitar, mandolin, and both tenor and 5-string banjos. He has recently played banjo with orchestras in the U.S., Mexico, and China. He and his wife, soprano Maggi Smith-Dalton, perform frequently throughout the US, specializing in historically-informed performance of 19th and early 20th century American music.


Thomas Schuttenhelm

Thomas Schuttenhelm is a composer and guitarist whose compositions have a strong conceptual component. His music uses embodied programs and celebrates in allusions to the musical, literary, poetic, visual, and theatrical influences that resonate throughout his compositions. Much of his music is the result of collaborations with musicians, poets, actors and artists. The music he writes is often as much ‘about’ the people he collaborates as it is for them to perform. He is the Artistic Director at Network for New Music in Philadelphia. For more information:

Reply to Discussion


© 2020   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service