Occasionally, professional orchestras perform exciting new works by contemporary composers. But most of the time, if you want to hear something that's less than 100 years old, you should check out college ensembles.

Occasionally, professional orchestras perform exciting new works by contemporary composers. But most of the time, if you want to hear something that's less than 100 years old, you should check out college ensembles.

This week, the Ohio State School of Music hosts its annual Contemporary Music Festival, which will focus on the music of former OSU faculty member Donald Harris. The composer and former OSU administrator has been a lifelong advocate of new music, and the two-day festival will feature students and local professional musicians performing works by Harris and composers who were his colleagues, students and teachers.

Thursday night's concert will include world premieres by Thomas Wells, Matthew Saunders and Jan Radzynski. Dancers from Balletmet will join the musicians during the second half of the program to perform Darius Milhaud's "La Creation du Monde," which was originally written as a mini-ballet but is rarely presented that way. And Harris' works will make up Friday night's program, with the 80-year-old composer premiering his "A Letter from Home."