“A Utopian vision of contemporary music-for-everyone”

John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Access Contemporary Music is one of the most innovative and adventurous new music organizations out there.”

– Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review


Access Contemporary Music (ACM) wants everyone to know about contemporary classical music.

We believe strongly that the music of our time deserves a wider audience and that there are many people who would love contemporary classical music if they only knew it existed.

We are a production company that creates events designed to be innovative, foster creativity, allow for collaboration, bring contemporary music to new audiences and integrate musical creativity into everyday life.

Our productions include:

  • The ACM School of Music – a chain of storefront music schools that teach musical creativity, host small concert events and act as community ambassadors for our brand.
  • Live at the Davis Theater – a three-concert series in Chicago held at the Davis Theater that serves to spotlight the exciting global and diverse nature of today’s classical music.
  • The Discovery Series – a process-oriented exploration of music creativity moderated by composer Conrad Cummings at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge as part of Relevant Tones: Live at LPR.  Three pieces are chosen each time from a submission pool of more than seven hundred.
  • Thirsty Ears Festival – Chicago’s only classical music street festival.  Happens the second week of August and attracts five thousand people on average.
  • Sound of Silent Film Festival – features newly composed scores performed live to modern silent films from around the world.  Now in its thirteenth year, we’ve produced this event in Chicago, New York, Austin and Mexico City.
  • Open House – a collaboration with different Open House projects in cities worldwide in which composers write music inspired by different spaces and, on the day of the event, musicians perform the pieces every 15 minutes for tours of people.  Now in Barcelona, Milwaukee and Chicago.
  • Composer Alive – a commissioning project in which we work with a composer to write a new piece in short installments, each of which is recorded in front of an audience and posted to our website as its received.  This allows the composer to experiment and revise while writing the piece and gives an audience the chance to enter the creative process and watch a piece be created from first draft, through rewrites to the finished product.


ACM Executive Director Seth Boustead talks about our ambitious mission

ACM Executive Director gives a TEDx talk about the future of classical music.