Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
- Eric Lynn Harris
A larger chamber group founded in 1961 by conductor and bassoonist Arthur Weisberg (1931–2009). Trombonist John Swallow served as personnel manager for the group, whose membership changed frequently. Typical instrumentation included one each of: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, percussion, piano, and conductor. A residency at Rutgers University (New Jersey) during the 1970s, funded through the Rockefeller Foundation, helped to establish the group as an ensemble of significance. Numerous recordings were produced through Nonesuch Records and include an entire album dedicated to the music of Edgar Varése. Their recording featuring Darius Milhaud’s La Création du Monde packaged with music from Kurt Weill’s Dreigroschenoper received critical acclaim.
In 1976 the Ensemble traveled to Australia, Korea, and Japan, all in celebration of the American Bicentennial. During its existence, the Ensemble performed each year in New York and also toured throughout the continental United States and across Europe. The Ensemble focused exclusively on 20th-century repertoire, featured many compositions by American composers, and premiered more than 100 works....