History and Mission
“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
AME spotlights American music via lively thematic programming, and highlights house composer and founder, Robert Paterson. AME performs a wide repertoire, using a varied combination of instrumentalists, vocalists, and conductors. AME has premiered and performed over 250 works by living composers, and has received rave reviews in The New York Times, Time Out, the New Yorker, 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 fourteen-year track record as to what is 'right' about classical music today.
AME includes on-stage chats with composers and creative artists, allowing audience members to learn even more about the conception of works. AME provides a welcoming environment for audiences to get to know 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, 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.
AME produces stellar 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, 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, Rutgers, and more. AME is deeply invested in collaboration. Some examples are Cutting Edge New Music Festival, Prototype Opera Festival, American Opera Projects, On Site Opera, the Dance Theater of Harlem, and the Mazzini Dance Collective (former principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company). AME has an ongoing In-Situ partnership with the fantastic new music venue, National Sawdust, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.