Named Musical America's 2016 "Ensemble of the Year" (the first orchestra ever to receive the honor), The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is widely recognized as the leading orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to performing new music. Its signature record label, BMOP/sound, is the nation’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and solely devoted to new music recordings.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project is the premier orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Described by The New York Times as “one of the most artistically valuable” orchestras in the country, BMOP is a unique institution in today’s musical world, disseminating exceptional orchestral music “new or so woefully neglected that it might as well be” via performances and recordings of the highest caliber.
Founded by Artistic Director Gil Rose in 1996, BMOP has championed composers whose careers span over a century. Each season, Rose brings BMOP’s award-winning orchestra, renowned soloists, and influential composers to the stage of New England Conservatory’s historic Jordan Hall, with programming that is “a safe haven for, and champion of, virtually every ism, and every genre- and era-mixing hybrid that composers’ imaginations have wrought” (Wall Street Journal). The musicians of BMOP are consistently lauded for the energy, imagination, and passion with which they infuse the music of the present era.
BMOP’s distinguished and adventurous track record includes premieres and recordings of monumental and provocative new works such as John Harbison’s ballet Ulysses, Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and Lei Liang’s A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams. The composers performed and commissioned by BMOP contain Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners, Grawemeyer Award recipients, and MacArthur grant fellows.
From 1997 to 2014 the orchestra won 17 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. BMOP has been featured at festivals including Opera Unlimited, the Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music with the ICA/Boston, Tanglewood, the Boston Cyberarts Festival, Concerts at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC), the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh, PA), and the MATA Festival in New York. During its 20th anniversary season, BMOP was named Musical America’s 2016 Ensemble of the Year, the first symphony orchestra in the organization’s history to receive this distinction.
BMOP has actively pursued a role in music education through composer residencies, collaborations with colleges, and an ongoing relationship with the New England Conservatory, where it is Affiliate Orchestra for New Music. The musicians of BMOP are equally at home in Symphony Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and in Cambridge’s Club Oberon and Boston’s Club Café, where they pursued a popular, composer-led Club Concert series from 2004 to 2012.
BMOP/sound, BMOP’s independent record label, was created in 2008 to provide a platform for BMOP’s extensive archive of music, as well as to provide widespread, top-quality, permanent access to both classics of the 20th century and the music of today’s most innovative composers. BMOP/sound has released over 75 CDs on the label, bringing BMOP’s discography to 100 titles. BMOP/sound has garnered praise from the national and international press; it is the recipient of a 2020 GRAMMY® Award for Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox, seven GRAMMY® Award nominations, and its releases have appeared on the year-end “Best of” lists of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Time Out New York, American Record Guide, Downbeat Magazine, WBUR, NewMusicBox, and others.
BMOP expands the horizon of a typical “night at the symphony.” Admired, praised, and sought after by artists, presenters, critics, and audiophiles, BMOP and BMOP/sound are uniquely positioned to redefine the new music concert and recording experience.
In September 2013, Rose founded Odyssey Opera, a Boston-based opera company that is dedicated to the production and performance of dynamic, eclectic, and historically important but underperformed operatic repertoire.
Odyssey Opera presents adventurous and eclectic works that affirm opera as a powerful expression of the human experience. Its world-class artists perform the operatic repertoire from its historic beginnings through lesser-known masterpieces to contemporary new works and commissions in a variety of formats and venues. Odyssey Opera sets standards of high musical and theatrical excellence and innovative programming to advance the operatic genre beyond the familiar and into undiscovered territory. Odyssey Opera takes its audience on a journey to places they've never been before.
The company made its debut in September 2013, with a concert production of Wagner's six hour long Rienzi. Since then, Odyssey Opera has continued to garner unanimous acclaim from both the press and public for the more than thirty operas it has brought to Boston. In what has become an Odyssey tradition, it has heralded the beginning of the classical music season with a concert production of a rarely performed grand opera, including Jules Massenet’s Le Cid, starring internationally acclaimed tenor Paul Groves; Antonin Dvořák’s Dimitrij, which introduced Aleš Briscein to American audiences; and the restored versions of Charles Gounod’s La reine de Saba and Camille Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII.
In the fall of 2015, Odyssey Opera released their first commercial recording, Pietro Mascagni's Zanetto. Their second release in 2018 featured three one-act operas by Dominick Argento followed by a three-disc, world premiere recording of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Importance of Being Earnest in 2019. Future releases include the world premiere recording of Gounod’s original La reine de Saba and Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII. Odyssey Opera also appears on releases by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, including the GRAMMY® Award-winning Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox and Norman Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen, which also earned a nomination.
In 2017, Odyssey Opera was part of the New York City Opera’s celebration of the 90th birthday of American composer Dominick Argento at Carnegie Hall. They remounted their 2014 production of two one-act operas: Miss Havisham's Wedding Night, and A Water Bird Talk, adapted from Chekhov's play On the Harmfulness of Tobacco and John James Audubon's Birds of America.
In 2020 Odyssey Opera, in collaboration with BMOP, presented the world premiere of Arnold Rosner’s The Chronicle of Nine, about the tragic nine-day reign of Lady Jane Grey. Odyssey Opera’s and BMOP’s fourth commercial recording together will be released on BMOP/sound in 2021.
Since their debut, Odyssey Opera has distinguished itself in the opera industry for their strong thematic seasons—The British Invasion, When in Rome, Wilde Opera Nights, Trial by Fire, GounOdyssey, Helen of Troy, and The Tudors, all resulting in critical acclaim and a growing audience.
Odyssey Opera has been hailed by The New York Times as “intriguing” and “bold,” named by WBUR “2017 Company of the Year,” and declared by New York Arts as “indispensable by providing skillful and inspired productions of operatic rarities with impressive casts.” This young company has produced thirty-five operas in six seasons, including three world premieres, two US premieres, and nineteen Boston premieres while working with a roster of international singers and directors.
Rose maintains a busy schedule as a guest conductor on both operatic and symphonic platforms.