St. Paul, Minn. – Three soloists from the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by the New York Times as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music,” will perform a free concert at Macalester College with a program that draws from classic recent works and ICE composer commissions.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, in Mairs Concert Hall, in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center & Gallery, 130 Macalester Street, St. Paul, Minn.  The ICE Ensemble is part of Macalester’s New Music Series, sponsored by the Rivendell Foundation and the Macalester Provost’s Office.

From the wispy, transparent flute in “Errobi 1” by Ramon Lazkano to the clock-like interplay of piano and percussion in Harrison Birtwistle’s “The Axe Manual,” ICE presents a wide-ranging evening of expressive extremes and diverse contemporary styles. Members of the Macalester College Orchestra join for a performance of “The Well” and the Gentle by the meditative master composer Pauline Oliveros.

ICE, defined as “the new gold standard for new music” by The New Yorker, is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 35 leading instrumentalists, performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century.

Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions – the majority of these new works by emerging composers – in venues spanning from alternative spaces to concert halls around the world. The ensemble has received the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award for its contributions to the field, the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming, and was most recently named Musical America World Wide’s Ensemble of the Year in 2013.

ICE has released acclaimed albums on the Nonesuch, Kairos, Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik, New Focus, New Amsterdam and Mode labels. Recent and upcoming highlights include headline performances at the Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Aspekte (Austria), Acht Brücken Music for Cologne (Germany), Festival de Música de Morelia (Mexico), Teatro Amazonas (Brazil), and performances with the Nagoya Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony.

In 2011, with lead support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICE created the ICElab program to place teams of ICE musicians in close collaboration with emerging composers to develop works that push the boundaries of musical exploration. In 2014, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation renewed its leadership support to launch the OpenICE initiative, which brings the full scope of ICE’s programming and educational activities for free to broader audiences around the world.

ICE’s commitment to build a diverse, engaged audience for the music of our time inspired The Listening Room, an educational initiative for public schools without in-house arts curricula.

Past New Music Series guests have included soprano Patrice Michaels, women’s singing group Lorelei Ensemble, string quartet ETHEL, guitarist/composer Bill Frisell, cellist Matt Haimovitz, So Percussion, jazz pianist/composer/arranger Uri Caine, singer Lucy Shelton, Enso String Quartet, pianist/composer Frederic Rzewski, Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Yehudi Wyner, chamber group eighth blackbird, and jazz composer/bandleader Maria Schneider and Theo Bleckmann, jazz singer and new music composer. Guest artists work with Macalester students in classes and master classes.

The concert is free and no tickets are required. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information call 651-696-6808 or email

Thanks to generous funding from the Rivendell Foundation and the Macalester Provost’s office, the Macalester Music Department presents two to three concerts per season focusing on New Music and Jazz.  

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,138 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

January 19 2016

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