The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) has had pretty phenomenal success in just a few years of existence. I first heard of the group about four years ago, when a respected colleague told me that they were something to keep an eye on. Since then, I’ve had trouble keeping an eye off of them, since they seem to be popping up all over the place.

Part of the secret to this ubiquity is their structure: a thirty-member core spread over two cities – New York and Chicago. Adjunct musicians are hired for special projects. As a result, they can perform completely different programs in several different locations all on the same night.

ICE will be in residence here at the North Carolina School of the Arts this weekend, giving masterclasses, seminars, a recording session of student works and a concert of music by Steve Reich, Philippe Manoury, Elliott Carter, Franco Donatoni, Earle Brown and Huang Ruo

I’ll have a report next week. I’m very hopeful for an excellent residency.

And, after all, with the weather finally turning cold, I’m happy to encourage ICE wherever I see it.

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