International Contemporary Ensemble at Fridman Gallery
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
169 Bowery | NYC
With a commitment to cultivating a more curious and engaged society through music, the International Contemporary Ensemble – as a commissioner and performer at the highest level – amplifies creators whose work propels and challenges how music is made and experienced. The Ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored the Ensemble’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present. Now in its third decade, the Ensemble continues to build new digital and live collaborative environments that strengthen artist agency and musical connections around the world.
The International Contemporary Ensemble presents a concert focused on new works and collaborations by members of the Ensemble. Jacob Greenberg (harmonium) and Cory Smythe (keyboard) premiere a new work by David Byrd-Marrow. Nathan Davis creates undulating, prismatic soundscapes on a psaltery using bows and ebows, as Liz Liguori creates immersive projections, bending light with prisms and mirrors. Rebekah Heller premieres new compositions and improvisations for solo bassoon. Joshua Rubin (clarinet), Fay Victor (voice), and Rebekah Heller also play a set together. With Lighting Design by Nicholas Houfek.
Nathan Davis "writes music that deals deftly and poetically with timbre and sonority" (NY Times). His opera/ballet "Hagoromo" premiered at BAM Next Wave with The International Contemporary Ensemble, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and dancers Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto. Other premieres were presented at Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, Park Avenue Armory, and Carnegie Hall. He has received commissions from Donaueschinger Musiktage, GMEM, Claire Chase, Steven Schick, Miller Theatre, the Calder Quartet, Third Coast Percussion, and Yarn/Wire. The 2018 Aaron Copland Fellow at the Bogliasco Foundation, Davis also received awards from the Camargo, Pew, and Fromm Foundations, New Music USA, MATA, and ASCAP. He currently teaches composition and electronic music at The New School. New album “Neutral Buoyant” for bowed psaltery is now available through all major outlets. www.nathandavis.com
Pianist Jacob Greenberg’s work as a soloist and chamber musician has earned worldwide acclaim. He is a longtime member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, with whom he has performed throughout the Americas and Europe, and serves as the Ensemble’s Director of Recordings. Mr. Greenberg’s concert series, Music at Close Range, shows his equal commitment to classics of the repertoire; his own solo discs on New Focus Recordings include works by over a dozen composers. Mr. Greenberg is on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center, and has taught at Hunter College, City University of New York, The Juilliard School, and the State University of New York at Buffalo. As a composer, he makes recorded works with spoken and sung texts.
Rebekah Heller's work aims to expand the sonic possibilities of her instrument — both in her solo work and through a deep collaborative practice. Called "an impressive solo bassoonist" by The New Yorker, she is dedicated to exploration, experimentation, and the democratization of sound. She has two solo albums of music written for and with her, and in 2018, Rebekah made her solo debut with the New York Philharmonic. A member of the International Contemporary Ensemble since 2008, Rebekah has served many roles in the leadership of that organization, most notably as Co-Artistic Director, Director of Individual Giving, and since 2021, a member of the Board of Directors. Rebekah teaches and lectures at the Mannes School of Music, where she is Co-Chair of the Wind Department.
Joshua Rubin is clarinetist and former Artistic Director of the International Contemporary Ensemble. As a clarinetist, the New York Times has praised him as, "incapable of playing an inexpressive note." His interest in electronic music has led him to work on making these technologies easier to use for both composers and performers, and to build platforms for collective management of ensembles. He maintains an artistic presence in New York and Los Angeles.
Pianist Cory Smythe has worked closely with pioneering artists in new, improvisatory, and classical music, including saxophonist-composer Ingrid Laubrock, violinist Hilary Hahn, and multidisciplinary composers from Anthony Braxton to Zosha Di Castri. His own music “dissolves the lines between composition and improvisation with rigor” (Chicago Reader), and his first record was praised by Jason Moran as “hands down one of the best solo recordings I’ve ever heard.” Smythe has been featured at the Newport Jazz, Wien Modern, Trondheim Chamber Music, Nordic Music Days, Approximation, Concorso Busoni, Darmstadt, and Mostly Mozart festivals. He has received commissions from Milwaukee’s Present Music, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, of which he is a longtime member, and the Shifting Foundation. Smythe received a Grammy award for his work with Ms. Hahn and has played regularly in the critically acclaimed Tyshawn Sorey Trio.
Brooklyn, NY based sound artist/composer Fay Victor hones a unique vision for the vocal role in jazz and improvised music regarding repertoire, improvisation and composition. Victor’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine & The Huffington Post; Victor’s performed with luminaries such as Dr. Randy Weston, Nicole Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg, Myra Melford, Marc Ribot & Tyshawn Sorey to name but a few.
As a composer, Victor was awarded with the 2017 Herb Albert/Yaddo Fellow in Music Composition, a 2018 AIR in Composition for the Headlands Center for the Arts in California and a 2020 recipient of a Jazz Coalition Commission to create during the pandemic. Victor is on the faculty of the College of Performing Arts at the New School and at the ROC Nation School for Sports, Music and Entertainment at Long Island University. Victor is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble, and chairs the Advisory Board for the Jazz Leaders Fellowship, a Brooklyn Conservatory initiative.
Liz Liguori creates photographic, sculptural, and time-based work at the intersection of science and light. Liguori’s works range from interactive light installations and performances to explorations of everyday objects or antiquated processes, which are dismantled, reconceptualized, and repurposed as a method for discovering new connections between high
and low technologies. These expressions invite an experiential exchange where the viewer can
meditate on the beauty and wonder of form, function, and chance occurrence.
Liguori’s work has been presented in New York City at the La Mama Galleria, Lazy Susan Gallery, Haven Arts, and 222 Bowery Art. Liguori’s artwork is highlighted in the book, The Mountain Lake Symposium, and Workshop: Artists in Locale, to which she also contributed an essay on her process. Liguori has worked extensively in lighting design, as well as editorial and portrait photography. She holds an MFA in Creative Technologies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a BA in Studio Art from Drew University.