69 years old George E. Lewis first collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2011, presenting a Composer Portrait concert for which he composed his work, The will to parry. Having served on the ensemble’s board of directors since 2018, he will now join as artistic director during its 20th anniversary.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to work with one of the best and most innovative ensembles in the world to advance the field of new music,” Lewis said. “I see limitless possibilities for what we can accomplish together.”
Previous Art Director Ross Karre will move into a new role as Executive Producer until August 2022, before beginning his new position at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as Associate Professor of Percussion.
“George and I started collaborating with the International Contemporary Ensemble at the same time, around 2011,” Karre commented. “More than any other collaborating artist in my life, George Lewis has a unique ability to shatter assumptions and expand our imaginations.”
Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Colombia University, where he holds the chair of composition and the faculty of historical musicology. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’ other honors include a MacArthur Genius Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the United States Artists Walker Fellowship. Recently, Lewis received an honorary doctorate from Harvard University in addition to becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
As a composer and member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis’ output encompasses electronic and computer music, computerized multimedia installations, and notated and improvised forms. With over 150 recordings, his works have been performed by various international ensembles such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Mivos Quartet and Spektral Quartet, to name a few- one.
“George Lewis and the AACM were a big part of what inspired the founding of our ensemble in the first place,” added the chairman of the International Contemporary Ensemble Board. Claude Arpel. “With his vast experience, insatiable curiosity and drive to nurture a generation of new artists, George Lewis is the perfect artistic director for our ensemble.”
Founded in 2001, the International Contemporary Ensemble of New York has premiered over 1,000 works and was the former artist-in-residence of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Ojai Music Festival, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It received the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.