Following 70 years of new music from the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, New York’s top ensembles and performers come together to celebrate a legacy of radical innovation. Founded in 1946, the Darmstadt Summer Course emerged as one of the most critical epicenters for international contemporary music. In the 70 years since the festival's beginnings, many of the twentieth century's most influential composers and performers have premiered major works and engaged in fierce debates about the future of music. Faculty and students at Darmstadt have included Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Olivier Messiaen, John Cage, Morton Feldman, György Ligeti, and David Tudor.
The festival continues on Tuesday evening with ICE - International Contemporary Ensemble performing new works from electroacoustic composer and intermedia installation artist Ashley Fure, Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin, and legendary Italian avant-garde composer Luigi Nono. Hailed as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music” by The New York Times, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions since its founding in 2001. With a modular makeup of 35 leading instrumentalists, performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator.
Mivos Quartet rounds out the evening with two forward-thinking works from Darmstadt professor and musique concrète composer Helmut Lachenmann and Brooklyn-based composer Scott Wollschleger. Since the quartet's beginnings in 2008, the group has performed and collaborated with an ever-expanding group of international composers who represent multiple aesthetics of contemporary classical composition. Active in education initiatives as well as performance, Mivos Quartet has conducted workshops at CUNY Graduate Center, Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, and Shanghai Conservatory.
This performance will be preceded by a panel discussion moderated by Curator Zach Layton and live-taped for Roulette TV. The panel will explore the history of the Darmstadt International Summer Course by addressing the cultural, social, theoretical and political impact of modernist ideology in music of the 20th century and its legacy today. Panelists include Thomas Schäfer, Director of Summer Courses at the Darmstadt Institute, Josh Rubin, Co-Artistic Director of International Contemporary Ensemble, Josh Modney, violinist for Mivos Quartet and Wet Ink Ensemble, and Martin Iddon, author of New Music at Darmstadt.