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New Music Predictions: Jonathan Leshnoff

In a world of music where we are so often looking back into the past, Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary celebrations send a clear message about the importance of looking forward, particularly when it comes to programming. To mark each of the years since it first opened its doors in 1891, Carnegie Hall has commissioned 125 new works to be premiered throughout the 2015–2020 seasons.

So where do we expect this new music to go? This question was put to both established and emerging composers who have recently been commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

Music is the lower part of the higher world and the higher part of this lower world. Music can elevate us, make us look inside, and inspire us for the better. To me, music has always been a personal journey. I have to go somewhere with my music to be moved—it has to be a journey into my inner space. I can lead others to the opening, but they have to enter for themselves. If I am successful, my music will take us all to the entrance.

—Jonathan Leshnoff


This article first appeared in Carnegie Hall: 125 Years of an Iconic Music Venue’s Most Remarkable People and Memorable Events, available at

Photo of Jonathan Leshnoff by Erica Abbey.

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