Ezra Sims is known mainly as a composer of microtonal music. He made his professional debut (with his earlier twelve-note music) on a Composers Forum program, in New York, in 1959. In 1960, he found himself compelled by his ear to begin writing microtonal music, which he has done almost exclusively since then — aside from several years when he made tape music for dancers, musicians at the time being generally even more afraid of microtones than they are now. His music has been performed from Tokyo to Salzburg.

He has received various awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Koussevitzky commission, and American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. He has lectured on his music in the US and abroad, most notably at the Hambürger Musikgespräch in 1994; the second Naturton Symposium in Heidelberg in 1992; and the 3rd and 4th Symposium, Mikrotöne und Ekmelische Musik, at the Hochschüle für Musik und Darstel­lende Kunst Mozarteum, Salzburg, in 1989 and 1991. In 1992 and 1993, he was guest lecturer in the Richter Herf Institut für Musikalische Grundlagenforschung in the Mozarteum.

He has published articles on his technique in Computer Music Journal, Mikrotöne III, Mikrotöne IV, Perspectives of New Music, and Ex Tempore.

With Ted Mook, he designed a font, for use with computer printing programs, for his set of accidentals sufficient for 72-note music that has been widely adopted in the field (

He was co-founder - with Rodney Lister and Scott Wheeler - of the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, of which he was President from 1977-1981, and a member of its Board of Directors from that time to 2003.

His music is published by Frog Peak Music and Diapason Press (Corpus Microtonale) and is available on releases from New World Records.


Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 25, 2008

News and Press

[Concert Review] BMOP explores many faces of modern music

Friday’s wide-ranging Boston Modern Orchestra Project concert demonstrated how unhelpfully vague the umbrella term “modern music” can be. Some New England Conservatory link was the only correspondence among the disparate works, gathered under the title “Boston ConNECtion” (and performed under Jordan Hall’s architecturally ill-mannered “New England Conservatory” signboard, which continues to intrude on the season’s concert experience like a dinner-time telemarketer).

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] Country for old men

BMOP has become so popular, you have to look hard in the program to find its full name: Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Founder Gil Rose and his outstanding ensemble celebrated their 10th season at the New England Conservatory on Friday with their annual concert devoted to Boston composers. An enthusiastic and diverse audience (diverse especially in age) cheered, whistled, and hooted its approval for pieces, including two world premieres, by five composers also diverse in age. All the pieces were lively and (unlike Gerontius) fun.

Full review
[News Coverage] Concertos, premieres for BMOP's new season

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 11th season will focus on concertos, pairing the orchestra with a wide array of local and international soloists. The season, announced today, offers BMOP’s customary mix of the cutting-edge and the merely modern, including no fewer than 10 world premieres.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Press Release] BMOP 07|08

BMOP's 11th season features Gil Rose's innovative programming, pairing 20th-century mavericks with today's foremost composers and performers.

World Premieres
Lisa Bielawa, Composer in Residence
Martin Boykan
Michael Colgrass
Derek Hurst
David Rakowski
Alejandro Rutty
Ezra Sims
Ken Ueno

Featured Guests
Firebird Ensemble
Colin Jacobsen
Kim Kashkashian
Carla Kihlstedt
Joanne Kong
Marilyn Nonken

Club Concerts
BMOP returns to downtown Boston, featuring new works by Lisa Bielawa composed in residence for solo artists.

Full review