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International Contemporary Ensemble Slates Busy January in NYC

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) continues to transform the way music is created and experienced throughout January.

For its next installment of free OpenICE initiatives, on Monday, January 23 at 8:00 p.m., ICE returns to the Abrons Arts Center's Underground Theater in a rare performance of renowned German composer Wolfgang Rihm's hourlong string trio Musik für Drei Streicher. An oblique tribute to Beethoven's late quartets, Rihm's 1977 work remains among the most ambitious in the string trio literature, relentless in its hyper-romantic expressivity and technical demands, "an unfathomable, clear, confused and passionate music, music that is precise and astonished, like human existence" (WR).

Launched in 2015, OpenICE continues to develop, engage, and sustain diverse 21st-century listeners through an outpouring of free artist-driven programming that is open to the public. The program serves a wide range of constituencies, ranging from those with limited access to the art form to students of all ages and backgrounds. Through its partnership with the Abrons Arts Center, the performing arts wing of the Henry Street Settlement, OpenICE brings every aspect of the ensemble's artist-curated and ensemble-commissioned music-making-including performances, digital documentation, workshops, hands-on educational activities, and in-person interaction with the composers-into the open for the benefit of new audiences.

On Thursday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Branch of the New York Public Library, ICE is joined by composer Ashley Fure in an exploration of two of her works--Therefore, I Was for cello, piano and percussion, and Shiver Lung Two. The interactive evening--the third in a series of events at the NYPL which focus on a single composer--allows the audience to participate and ask questions about Fure's compositional process. The event will be recorded as part of an on-going effort to collectively build archives and documentation for composers.

ICE collaborates with other leading musicians and ensembles on Friday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music as part of the Anti-Inaugural Ball, a fundraiser in response to the current political climate, where attendees are encouraged to donate to their preferred social activist organizations. In addition to a performance by ICE, participating artists include Phyllis Chen, Jordan Dodson, ETHEL, Flor de Toloache, Flutronix, Gemini, JACK Quartet, Darius Jones, Loadbang, So Percussion, Adam Tendler, with dancing provided by DJ Robert Maril.

Event Information:

ICE at New York Public Library
Music of Ashley Fure
Thursday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m.

Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library Branch
40 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023

Ross Karre, percussion
Levy Lorenzo, electronics
Michael Nicolas, cello
Cory Smythe, piano

Free reservations can be made at

ICE at Anti-Inaugural Ball
Friday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m.

DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

Free to attend. In lieu of tickets, laptop stations for donations for institutions that uphold America's democracy and diversity including ACLU, LAMDA Legal, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, Hollaback!, and more will be available.

OpenICE at Abrons Arts Center
Monday, January 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Abrons Underground Theater
466 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002

WOLFGANG RIHM Musik Für Drei Streicher (1977)

Josh Modney, violin
Kyle Armbrust, viola
Michael Nicolas, cello

Free reservations are required for Abrons Underground events, and are available at

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. 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 ICE'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, ICE 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. ICE has been featured at the Ojai Music Festival since 2015, and has appeared at festivals abroad such as Acht Brücken Cologne and Musica nova Helsinki. Other recent performance stages include the Park Avenue Armory, The Stone, ice floes at Greenland's Diskotek Sessions, and boats on the Amazon River.

New initiatives include OpenICE, made possible with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which offers free concerts and related programming wherever ICE performs, and enables a working process with composers to unfold in public settings. DigitICE catalogues the ensemble's performances in a free online streaming video library. ICE's First Page program is a commissioning consortium that fosters close collaborations between performers, composers, and listeners as new music is developed. EntICE, a side-by-side youth program, places ICE musicians within youth orchestras as they premiere new commissioned works together. Inaugural EntICE partners include Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and The People's Music School in Chicago. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE. Read more at

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