American soprano Neva Pilgrim and pianist Ursula Oppens performed songs by Charles Ives. Pilgrim promoted works by new composers, and—often through the New Music Society in Syracuse, of which she was a founder—she commissioned dozens of works which she then introduced to the public.

Ursula Oppens, winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions in 1968, debuted at Carnegie Hall the following year.  Like Pilgrim, a champion of new music, she co-founded the contemporary music ensemble Speculum Musicae in 1971.