International Contemporary Ensemble

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International Contemporary Ensemble
International Contemporary Ensemble Logo.png
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Contemporary classical
Years active 2001-present
Labels Tundra, Nonesuch, Kairos, Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik, New Focus, New Amsterdam, Mode

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is a contemporary classical music ensemble, based in New York City and Chicago. ICE performs a diverse and extensive array of chamber, electro-acoustic, improvisatory, and multimedia works.[1]


The International Contemporary Ensemble was founded in 2001 by Claire Chase (ICE flautist and executive director).[2] The early ensemble—consisting primarily of alumni from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio—presented its first Chicago concert at the Three Arts Club in January 2002.[3] In the following year, ICE made its New York City debut at the Miller Theatre, and have since split their activities between Chicago and New York.

Since its founding, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions, many of these commissions and collaborations spawning from their noteworthy residency programs: the 21st Century Young Composers Project and ICElab.[4] In addition to commissioning emerging composers, the ensemble has also premiered numerous works by world-renowned composers, including Georges Aperghis, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, David Lang, Liza Lim, Dai Fujikura, Chaya Czernowin, Julio Estrada, George Lewis, Anna Thorvaldsdottir,[5] and Carla Kihlstedt, among others.

ICE has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Musica Nova Helsinki (Finland), Wien Modern (Austria), Acht Brücken Music for Cologne (Germany), La Cité de la Musique (Paris), the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Germany), Mostly Mozart Festival (New York), as well as tours of Japan, Brazil and France. They have held residencies at the MCA Chicago, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York University, Columbia College (Chicago), and Conservatorio de las Rosas (Morelia, Mexico), among others.


ICE is a flexible collective of thirty-four performing artists, including strings, woodwinds, piano, percussion, voice, light and sound designers. As an artist-run organization, most of ICE’s executive leadership, concert production, marketing, fundraising, technology and database systems are managed by members of the ensemble.[6]

  • Claire Chase (flute, Founder and former Executive Director)
  • William McDaniel (Executive Director)
  • Joshua Rubin (clarinet, Program Director)
  • Jacob Greenberg (piano, Director of Education)
  • Rebekah Heller (bassoon, Development Associate)
  • Ross Karre (percussion, Director of Production)
  • Ryan Muncy (saxophone, Grants Director / Co-Director of OpenICE)
  • Steven Schick (Artist in Residence: 2012-2015)
  • David Bowlin (violin)
  • Jennifer Curtis (violin)
  • Erik Carlson (violin)
  • Maiya Papach (viola)
  • Wendy Richman (viola)
  • Kyle Armbrust (viola)
  • Kivie Cahn-Lipman (cello)
  • Katinka Kleijn (cello)
  • Michael Nicolas (cello)
  • Randall Zigler (bass)
  • Phyllis Chen (piano)
ICE performing at the Mostly Mozart Festival on August 22, 2013.


  • Son of Chamber Symphony / String Quartet by John Adams (Nonesuch, 2017)[8]

With John Zorn


  1. ^ Official website of the International Contemporary Ensemble
  2. ^ Wagman, Elissa. "Chicago Tribune: "It can break the ICE in any space" It can break the ICE in any space Ensemble doesn't adhere to tradition or boundaries". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Wagman, Elissa (June 2, 2005). "It can break the ICE in any space Ensemble doesn't adhere to tradition or boundaries". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "ICE: About". 
  5. ^ Alan G. Artner, "An evening of instant gratification," Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2015, Section 4, p. 5
  6. ^ "ICE Staff". 
  7. ^ "ICE Artists". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Nonesuch Records Son of Chamber Symphony / String Quartet". Nonesuch Records Official Website. Retrieved 2017-12-26. 

External links[edit]