Press Release

International Contemporary Ensemble to Present Free Concerts, Workshops For Youth and New Audiences

CHICAGO, IL- September 17, 2014— This October, the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will partner to present a series of free, intimate performances and workshops at The Hideout and local Chicago public schools to give audiences insight into the art of creating and experiencing contemporary classical music.  

OpenICE will be the kick off to ICE’s 2014-2015 season with performances of recent works developed in close conversation between some of ICE’s favorite composers and ICE musicians. The series will bring every aspect of ICE’s music-making—performances, commissions, hands-on educational activities and ICE’s work behind the scenes—out into the open for the benefit of new audiences. 

Produced in partnership with the Illinois Humanities Council, the free public performances will take place at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave) in Chicago and each will be followed by a discussion with the musicians and a special guest moderator.

 Confirmed performances are: 

  • October 12, 2014, 6:00pm
    OpenICE: Simple Songs

    Recent works by Dai Fujikura, Nathan Davis, John Zorn and Augusta Read Thomas, followed by a discussion with Lisa Lee, Director of the School of Art and Art History at University of Illinois at Chicago.  

Dai Fujikura: Minina (Chicago premiere)
Nathan Davis: Simple Songs of Birth and Return (Chicago premiere)
Augusta Read Thomas: Capricci
Dai Fujikura: Phantom Splinter (US Premiere)
John Zorn: The Tempest 

  • November 9, 2014, 6:00pm
    OpenICE: Credentials

ICE’s newest member, saxophone legend Ryan Muncy, presents a concert of new music alongside ICE founder and CEO Claire Chase, followed by a discussion of the works presented with a special guest moderator TBA. 

  • December 14, 2014, 6:00pm
    OpenICE: Apophthegms

ICE violinists Jennifer Curtis and David Bowlin present a program of duos by Luciano Berio, John Zorn and more, followed by a discussion of the works presented with a special guest moderator TBA. 

Program to include:

Luciano Berio: Duetti 
John Zorn: Apophthegms 
Edison Denisov: Sonata for Two Violins 

“Our work is to hold meaningful conversations about the ideas and works that shape our culture. With this series, we will foster the enjoyment and learning about a genre of music that is not always understood by the public,” remarked Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director of the Illinois Humanities Council. “We are proud to partner with one of the premier contemporary music groups in the country in ICE, a group that has strong roots here in Illinois.”

The New York Times has called ICE, “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music.” 

The series will also include related educational workshops for Chicago Public School students, taking place October 13, November 10 and December 15. Workshop activities will include group composition of graphic musical scores (ICE’s The Listening Room), an ICE-led student improvisation, and discussion of the composers and styles represented in the OpenICE concerts.  

“ICE is excited to partner with the Illinois Humanities Council to bring the world of new music to the youth of Chicago and to perform to the public in such a great venue as The Hideout,” mentioned Claire Chase. “New audiences young and old will have the chance to enjoy new music in an intimate setting and hear directly from the musicians how the music is created.”    

All events are free to the public, though reservations are required and can be made by emailing to, or visiting the IHC website, For information about the school workshops, please contact Jacob Greenberg at For more information about OpenICE, please visit 


The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, with a mission to strengthen society by fueling inquiry and conversation about the ideas and works that shape our culture. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds. 

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 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.