Unheard Concerts aims to rescue contemporary art music from the concert hall and present it to new audiences, made up predominantly of non-concert-goers.
Unheard, with the support of Arts Council England, has offered paid commissions to emerging composers and premiered the new works in concerts that explore more open formats, rejecting tired concert etiquette and elitism.
Last year, Unheard reached an audience that was 71% non-musician. 29% of this audience rarely attended concerts, and a further 4% had never attended a concert ever before.
In 2020, the Unheard: Unseen project was launched, challenging composers across the globe to work collaboratively and anonymously on new pieces of music. The resulting three compositions will be premiered in a live streamed concert co-hosted by Sound and Music.
The project brought together 14 composers to work on 3 new pieces of music. The idea was to challenge a group of composers, ranging from amateur to professional, with a new way of working. Not only were they restricted to working only one hour at a time, but also by the next time they accessed the work, several other participants had manipulated the piece. Composers were also working anonymously, unable to communicate with each other other than through musical ideas on the score.