“Devoting a program to Minimalist and microtonal compositions could easily amount to an egghead agenda; leave it to the American Modern Ensemble to make it a party instead." - The New York Times
Founded in 2005 and with a core of 20 performers, American Modern Ensemble (AME) is one of America's most critically-acclaimed new music ensembles, and is described as "simply first-rate" (The New York Times) and "consistently showing a knack for inventive programming" (The New York Times).
AME spotlights American composers via lively thematic programming, performing a wide repertoire of new works using varied combinations of instrumentalists, vocalists, and conductors. AME has premiered and performed over 250 works by over 175 living composers, and has received rave reviews in The New York Times, the New Yorker, Sequenza21, MusicWeb International, among others. Sold out crowds at Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, the Rubin Museum, Dixon Place, and National Sawdust are a winning testament to AME’s twelve-year track record as to what is 'right' about classical music today.
From the very beginning, AME has always included on-stage chats with composers and other creative artists, allowing audience members to learn even more about the conception of works on our programs. AME is committed to bridging the gap between audiences and creators, and provides the most welcoming environment possible for audiences to get to know both the creators and performers. To date, over 95% of the composers have attended our concerts, including luminaries such as John Luther Adams, John Corigliano, Sebastian Currier, David Del Tredici, Ben Johnston, Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Steven Mackey, Ingram Marshall, Paul Moravec, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, and countless others. AME also enthusiastically performs works by America's most talented and in-demand emerging and mid-career composers.
Each season, AME holds three annual competitions for composers of ALL ages. Winners receive performances, with recordings, videos, and cash awards. AME also produces professional recordings via it's house label, American Modern Recordings (AMR), which has received fantastic reviews in Gramophone, the LA Music Examiner, The New York Times, Audiophile Audition, Sequenza21, and New Music Box, and all our albums have made it to the Grammy® Ballot for the past four seasons.
AME’s educational and outreach initiatives are robust, and have included residencies at universities such as Princeton University, James Madison University, Keene State College, the CUNY Graduate Center, Adelphi, and more. AME is deeply invested in collaborations, multimedia and interdisciplinary projects, and frequently collaborates with festivals and presenters such as the Cutting Edge New Music Festival, Prototype Opera Festival, American Opera Projects, the Dance Theater of Harlem, and the Mazzini Dance Collective (former principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company). Beginning 2015, AME is proud to announce an ongoing In-Situ partnership with National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.