The International Foundation for Contemporary Music is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, performance, and education of contemporary music around the world. The IFCM is the producing organization for the Cortona Sessions for New Music and the innovative Kansas-based concert series Concerts @ the Hammert.
The International Foundation for Contemporary Music was founded in 2010 by Michael and Mary Kirkendoll. The IFCM's mission is to support the creation, performance, and education of contemporary music around the world. In the beginning, this mission focused on producing the Cortona Sessions for New Music, which has evolved into one of the world's premiere summer training festivals for contemporary music. In the years since, the IFCM's mission has expanded to supporting projects from a variety of performers and composers, and now, with the purchase of the IFCM's new home at the Hammert Building, to creating an exciting new concerts series for the community of Eudora, KS called Concerts @ the Hammert.
The Cortona Sessions for New Music is among the world's premiere summer programs for contemporary music creation, performance, and exploration. Since 2010, the Sessions have welcomed hundreds of talented young musicians to the sun-drenched Tuscan hill-town of Cortona, Italy where they engage in two weeks of intensive rehearsals, coachings, lectures, and performances, culminating the premiere of nearly 50 works each year. The Sessions feature a faculty of renowned composers and specialists in contemporary music performance and also welcomes guests including Pauline Oliveros, Frederic Rzewski, and recent Pulitzer-Prize winner Du Yun. Learn more about the Cortona Sessions at www.cortonasessions.org.
Concerts @ the Hammert was created in 2018 at the new home of the IFCM, the Hammert Building, located in Eudora, KS. Owned by IFCM president Michael Kirkendoll and his wife Mary, the Hammert Building is an 1872 building located on the historic Main Street of downtown Eudora, KS, a small suburb of Lawrence. The Hammert Building is now a center for community enrichment activities and offers free and donation-based services to Eudora and the surrounding communities, including the Eudora Senior Center, Eudora Yoga Center, and Concerts @ the Hammert. Concerts @ the Hammert has two primary goals:
- Bring exceptional contemporary musicians to the Hammert Building to present innovative and thought-provoking concerts focused on the music of the 20th and 21st Centuries.
- To offer traditional Classical salon-style concerts to the Eudora community featuring local and regional artists, particularly students from the nearby University of Kansas School Music
In the area of Northeast Kansas, contemporary music has almost no presence on the concert stage outside of selected performances/performers at the University of Kansas and University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Concert @ the Hammert Artist Series seeks to bring 4-6 contemporary artists or ensembles from around the country to the region for performances and outreach educational events with area schools. These concerts, like all events at the Hammert Building, are offered free to the public.
Additional Concerts @ the Hammert are focused on building the growing community and energy of Eudora, KS. Final Thursday Concerts are 60 minute free concerts featuring KU students, and are catered directly to the Eudora Senior Center community. The Wakarusa Series (named for the Wakarusa River that connects with the Kansas River just steps away), offers local and regional artists in a variety of genres the chance to share there work with the community at large. As stated before, all of these concerts are offered free to the public.
The IFCM also offers organizational and financial support to Faculty and Fellows of the Cortona Sessions, and to other artists and performers with projects that fit within its mission. Among these, are commissions of new works, recordings featuring innovative contemporary repertoire, and grants for recitals and concert presentations.