CAMBRIDGE — “I am convinced that our century will eventually prove to be one of the great musical centuries,” wrote the new music patron Paul Fromm in 1979. “If we choose to ignore what is happening in our midst, it is exclusively our loss.”
Fromm, a German-born wine importer who settled in Chicago, put his money where his convictions were. Since 1952, the Fromm Music Foundation has commissioned more than 300 pieces from an amazingly catholic array of 20th- and 21st-century composers. Since 1972 it has been based at Harvard, and over the weekend the foundation threw itself a sort of belated 60th-birthday party in the form of a two-concert series, with the superb new-music sinfonietta Sound Icon playing a cross-section of Fromm commissions.