International Contemporary Ensemble
Contemporary Classical Music Ensemble
• Founded 2001
Often appears with
An artist collective dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, including chamber, electro-acoustic, and multimedia works, as well as improvised collaborations, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) has primarily performed in New York and Chicago, though it has also toured internationally. Formed in 2001 by flutist and executive director Claire Chase, who initially enlisted members from Oberlin Conservatory graduates, the ensemble gave its first Chicago performance in 2002 at the Three Arts Club, and followed that with performances at the Miller Theatre in New York. Consisting of 35 performers, who also provide administrative and technical support, ICE is a self-governing organization. The group has given premieres of over 500 works, many of which have been commissioned through its residency programs, such as the 21st Century Young Composers Project and ICElab, and have included pieces by Georges Aperghis, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, and David Lang, and music by rising composers. In addition to the group's performances at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, it has appeared at European events, such as Musica Nova Helsinki, Wien Modern, Acht Brücken Musik für Köln, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, and La Cité de la Musique in Paris, and given its own concerts in France, Japan, and Brazil. ICE's programs include OpenICE, which offers free concerts and related programming wherever it performs, and DigitICE, a free online library that presents the ensemble's performances in more than 350 videos. It also coordinates EntICE, an education program that mentors and performs with youth orchestras. ICE has received the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award, the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, and was named the 2014 Musical America Ensemble of the Year. Its recordings have appeared on Sono Luminus, Tundra, Nonesuch, Kairos, Mode Records, Bridge, New Focus, and other labels. In 2018, ICE released Aequa, an album of music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, which was nominated for a Grammy award.