International Contemporary Ensemble [ICE]
- George J. Grella Jr.
Chamber ensemble founded in 2001 by the flutist Claire Chase and the composer Huang Ruo. With more than 30 premieres, it has demonstrated the instrumental and organizational flexibility, as well as the musical virtuosity, to perform a broad range of music from the 20th and 21st centuries. It has operated as a collective with Chase as its executive director and the musicians taking responsibility for its management and selecting repertoire and projects. Among the premieres the ICE has presented are works by Georges Aperghis, Julio Estrada, Philippe Manoury, David Lang, and Dai Fujikura. They have also recorded John Adams’s Son of Chamber Symphony and given multiple US premieres of music by Kaija Saariaho, including her ballet Maa. They have engaged conductors and soloists on a performance-by-performance basis and collaborated with Steven Schick, Matthias Pintscher, Ludovic Morlot, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Peter Serkin. Their performance history includes a number of Composer Portraits (Miller Theater, Columbia University), the chamber music of Edgard Varèse (Alice Tully Hall, New York, 2010), Mostly Mozart (Lincoln Center, 2010), and the music of Morton Feldman, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, and Anton Webern (Alice Tully Hall, 2011). In that year ICE created ICElab, an initiative in which small groups from within the ensemble collaborated with six emerging composers to produce 24 evening-length works. The initial concerts were presented free of charge at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York. In 2010 the ensemble was given the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award, and in 2012 Chase was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.