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The International Contemporary Ensemble returns to NYU Skirball with a program of works by composer/pianist Anthony Davis and composer/vocalist Leila Adu-Gilmore. The evening will feature Adu-Gilmore’s Mahakala Oratorio (2020-23, world premiere of the live version) and Alyssum (2014);  and Davis’s Wayang No. II (Shadowdance) (1982), and Undine (1986).

The International Contemporary Ensemble is a multidisciplinary collective of musicians, digital media artists, producers, and educators committed to building and innovating collaborative environments, inspiring audiences to reimagine how contemporary music and sound can be experienced. Acclaimed as “America’s foremost new-music group” (The New Yorker), the Ensemble has premiered over 1,000 works and is the recipient of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, as well as Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year Award.  By honoring the polyaspora of human experience and expression by commissioning, developing, recording, and performing the works of living artists, the International Contemporary Ensemble has had a major impact on  contemporary performance around the world.

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Title: Anthony Davis and Leila Adu-Gilmore
Leila Adu-Gilmore, Mahakala Oratorio (2020-23), for large ensemble (world premiere of the live version)
Leila Adu-Gilmore, Alyssum (2014), for harp and string quartet
Anthony Davis, Wayang No. II (Shadowdance) (1982), for chamber ensemble
Anthony Davis, Undine (1986), for chamber ensemble
Leila Adu-Gilmore, voice
Anthony Davis, piano
A discussion with the composers will take place following the performance.
Anthony Davis is an internationally recognized composer of operatic, symphonic, choral, and chamber works, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his opera The Central Park Five. He is also known for his virtuoso performances both as a solo pianist and as the leader of the ensemble Episteme, a unique ensemble of musicians who are disciplined interpreters as well as provocative improvisers. As a composer, Davis is best known for his pioneering work in opera. The now-classic X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which played to sold-out houses at its premiere at the New York City Opera in 1986, was the first of a new American genre: opera on a contemporary political subject. The premiere recording of X, released on the Gramavision label in August 1992, received a Grammy Nomination for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” in February 1993. A new production of thee opera was launched in May 2022 at Detroit Opera and directed by Robert O’Hara to great acclaim.  This production will make its Metropolitan Opera debut in November 2023. A new recording with BMOP and Odyssey Opera was released in October 2022.
Leila Adu-Gilmore, Assistant Professor of Music Technology at NYU, is a composer-performer who has released five solo albums, as well as composed for So Percussion, Useful Chamber, Gamelan Padhang Moncar, the Brentano String Quartet and K.A.T.E.S. She has performed her compositions internationally at Ojai Festival (2016) and as Orchestra Wellington’s Emerging-Composer-in-Residence (2014). Dr Adu-Gilmore composes and produces for dance, theatre and short film, including rotations on the BBC Knowledge and Fox networks. Of New Zealand Pākehā and Ghanaian descent and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, with family in London, Dr Adu-Gilmore is passionate about the role of music in social change, mental well-being and human connection.  She has worked with musicians across multiple genres including Steve Albini, Kwame Write, GAIKA (Warp Records), Silent Poets, Useful Chamber, Federico Ughi, Jeff Snyder, David Long (The Mutton Birds, Lord of the Rings), Jeff Henderson, Lord Echo, Hannah Marshall, Steve Beresford & Jack Body.


NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.

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Sat, Mar 2 @ 7:30pm