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June 25-July 2: ICE and The New School Present 2020 Ensemble Evolution Programming

June 26, 2020 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media

PR Contact: 
Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts and Media | 863.660.2214

International Contemporary Ensemble Presents the
2020 Ensemble Evolution Program in Partnership with 
The New School’s College of Performing Arts, June 25-July 2

New York, NY (June 26, 2020) — “America’s foremost new-music group” (Alex Ross), the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), partners with The New School’s College of Performing Arts (CoPA) for the 2020 Ensemble Evolution program, taking place virtually from June 25 to July 2. Created by ICEensemble founder Claire Chase and longtime ICEensemble artist-in-residence Steven Schick, Ensemble Evolution is a tuition-free two-week summer music program for early-career performers and performer-composers, providing the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from a faculty of established professionals including ICEensemble musicians and renowned guest artists through workshops, conversations, and world premiere performances. 

Ensemble Evolution events open to the public include panels on topics such as Leadership, Advocacy, and Allyship in the Arts through a Racial Justice Lens; Branding and Digital Marketing for Musicians; and An Intro into Creative Placemaking; a talk with Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation; and two Quarantine Concerts featuring ICEensemble, Matana Roberts, Levy Lorenzo, David Byrd-Marrow and Ensemble Evolution participants. The final public performance of the program on Thursday, July 2 at 7:00pm features the world premiere of Nicole Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral, specifically re-designed for the digital world.

This year’s faculty includes saxophonist and composer Matana Roberts; pianist and improviser Cory Smythe; french-hornist David Byrd-Marrow; flutist and vocalist Alice Teyssier; vocalist, composer, and filmmaker Lisa E. Harris; guitarist Dan Lippel; percussionist, sound engineer, and CoPA faculty member Levy Lorenzo; saxophonist and CoPA faculty member Ryan Muncy; bassoonist, ICE Artistic Director, and CoPA faculty member Rebekah Heller; percussionist, ICE Artistic Director, and CoPA faculty member Ross Karre; composer Phyllis Chen; violinist, violist, and CoPA faculty member Miranda Cuckson; composer and CoPA faculty member Nathan Davis; cellist Katinka Kleijn; artist and social justice educator Rania El Muggamar; and clarinetist Joshua Rubin.

Guest presenters include LOOP LAB founder and Executive Director Chris Hope, attorney and CoPA faculty member David Williams, multimedia artist Elisa H. Hamilton, arts entrepreneur and digital media marketer Ceylon Mitchell II, cultural strategist Durell Cooper, Brooklyn College professor and author of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Performing Arts Workforce (2020) Dr. Tobie Stein, President of Walker International Communications Group Donna Walker-Kuhne, composer George Lewis, Director of Arts at the Dodge Foundation Sharnita Johnson, and more.  

Ensemble Evolution Public Program Information
June 25 – July 2, 2020
Worldwide Online
More Information: 

Leadership, Advocacy, and Allyship in the Arts through a Racial Justice Lens
Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
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Panelists: Donna Walker-Kuhne, President of Walker International Communications Group; Sharnita Johnson, Director of Arts at Dodge Foundation; and Dr. Tobie Stein, Professor Emeritus Brooklyn College.

 Moderator: Durell Cooper, Founder & CEO of Cultural Innovation Group, LLC.

Our nation is experiencing a converging of two pandemics. One being the pandemic of COVID-19 and the Other being the pandemic of Systemic Racism & Structural Oppression. This critical discussion will investigate the intersection of the two pandemics and reimagine the role of arts and culture in shaping the world into a more just place. It will also explore some practical steps participants can take to get more involved in the movement for racial justice as a leader, advocate, and/or ally.

The Quarantine Concerts Hosted by Experimental Sound Studio
Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 8:00pm ET
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Friday, June 26, 2020 at 8:00pm ET
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Tickets: Suggested Donation $5
Watch on Twitch: 

Quarantine Concerts are a collaborative endeavor meant to provide artists a space to share their work and continue to earn a living during this time when most live performance opportunities have been cancelled due to COVID-19. From New York City and points around the world, the International Contemporary Ensemble has assembled its annual summer festival of collective creativity: Ensemble Evolution. On June 25th and 26th, the Ensemble will feature artists such as Matana Roberts (guest of Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD this year), Levy Lorenzo, and David Byrd-Marrow performing self-composed works from their quarantined spaces in NYC and Berlin as well as guest contributions from 5 continents. 

Branding and Digital Marketing for Musicians with Ceylon Mitchell II
Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:00am ET
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This workshop is designed to teach best practices and innovative approaches for individual artists to enhance their authentic digital presence, grow their audiences, and succeed in a 21st-century landscape. Takeaways include the essential elements of an artist statement, composing a visual identity for owned media, building community, diving into the nuts of bolts of a social media strategy, and exploring other digital strategies. 

A Small Act of Curation with George Lewis
Friday, June 26, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
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George Lewis joins Ensemble Evolution to discuss composition and curation. Lewis is Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, Lewis also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University. Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press) and co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016). A 2019 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, his compositions, published by Edition Peters, are performed worldwide.

An Intro into Creative Placemaking with Chris Hope, Founder and Executive Director of LOOP LAB
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
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This workshop is designed for artists, by artists, as a primer into the practice of creative placemaking. Together, we will explore the values of creative placemaking, it's best practices, and what it means to take your art into the context of community.

Braxton75: The Music of Anthony Braxton – Navigation Through Form
Talk by James Fei / Tri-Centric Foundation
Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
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In celebration of Anthony Braxton’s 75th birthday year, International Contemporary Ensemble and Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation are collaborating to present the very first online Braxton75 event accessible to the public. In this talk, Tri-Centric president James Fei, who has been working closely with Braxton for over two decades, will offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Braxton compositions. Specifically, using scores and audiovisual material, Fei will examine the intersection of improvisation and notation, the changing role of the performer, and the fluid notions of “composition” in Braxton’s works. 

Ensemble Evolution Public Show
Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 7:00pm ET
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Featuring International Contemporary Ensemble and Ensemble Evolution Participants.

The International Contemporary Ensemble’s Ensemble Evolution program culminates with a virtual concert curated by participants and faculty featuring the world premiere of Nicole Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral, specifically re-designed for the digital world. 

About Ensemble Evolution
Ensemble Evolution, ICEensemble’s renowned summer program where young artists explore the ever-evolving range and depth of meaning that accompanies ensemble playing today, moves to The New School’s College of Performing Arts in the summer of 2020.

Previously in residence at Banff, Ensemble Evolution is a summer intensive that gives young musicians the opportunity to create side-by-side with members of ICEensemble and renowned guest artists, where together they engage in a holistic approach to making music, building community, and imagining pathways forward for the future of collective music making. One hallmark of the program is the democratic principles that underpin its operation: contrary to the dominant model of summer music intensives, at Ensemble Evolution, participants have a key role in shaping all elements of the program. They take increasing responsibility for programming, rehearsing, and producing concerts, which culminates in a participant-driven day of performance. Ensemble Evolution will take advantage of CoPA’s Arts Management and Entrepreneurship curriculum and faculty to broaden the experience for participants. Students will work alongside ICEensemble, CoPA faculty, and community partners to conceive, workshop, rehearse, and premiere new works.

As the 21st century musical landscape continues to evolve, new models that will allow artists and organizations to thrive in the creative economy are plentiful and growing. This partnership will ensure that young artists are equipped with the skills needed to take advantage of new technologies and platforms to shape the music of tomorrow. Through a range of collaborative courses, performances, and initiatives that tie those skills together with their shared values of equity, sustainability, and social justice, ICEensemble and CoPA seek to help young artists do just that. Learn more at

About the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
The International Contemporary Ensemble is an artist collective that is transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, the Ensemble explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The Ensemble’s 36 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.

A recipient of the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the International Contemporary Ensemble was also named the 2014 Musical America Ensemble of the Year. The group currently serves as artists-in-residence at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, and previously led a five-year residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The International Contemporary Ensemble was featured at the Ojai Music Festival from 2015 to 2017, and at recent festivals abroad such as gmem-CNCM-marseille and Vértice at Cultura UNAM, Mexico City. Other performance stages have included the Park Avenue Armory, The Stone, ice floes at Greenland’s Diskotek Sessions, and boats on the Amazon River.

OpenICE, made possible with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, offers free concerts and interactive, educational programming wherever the Ensemble performs. As the Ensemble in Residence of the Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology, the International Contemporary Ensemble advances music technology and digital communications as an empowering tool for artists from all backgrounds. Curricular activities include a residency and coursework at the New School College of Performing Arts, along with a summer intensive program, called Ensemble Evolution, where topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion build new bridges and pathways for the future of creative sound practices. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for the Ensemble. Read more at and watch over 350 videos of live performances and documentaries at

About The New School’s College of Performing Arts
The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and draws together the iconic Mannes School of Music, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

The over 1,100 students at CoPA are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty at CoPA collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at CoPA is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street. Learn more at and

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