Join us to revel in the work of these two composers, brought together by George Lewis & the International Contemporary Ensemble.


An internationally recognized composer of operatic, symphonic, choral, and chamber works, Anthony Davis (b. 1951) is one of the best-known composers of his generation in the United States. A virtuoso pianist, Davis is a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow, Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Davis is best known for his pioneering work in opera. Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for his opera The Central Park Five, his 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. A new production of X was launched in May 2022 at Detroit Opera. Directed by Robert O’Hara to great acclaim, the production made its Metropolitan Opera debut in November 2023, where it was pronounced an American classic.


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.

Office Hours: Coming Soon

Get Into It

Love Cells
Bluebeards and Monsters
Anthony Davis - [Concert by Anthony Davis] (1985)

Get Thee to the LIbrary

Recommended readings to get you in gear for the show.

Kyle Gann, The Arithmetic of Listening. Chicago: The University of Illinois Press, 2019.

Mariusz Kozak, Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. London: Oxford University Press, 2019.

Fred Moten, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

Read All About It

Bomb Magazine | Dec 15, 2023

Anthony Davis and Thulani Davis

Anthony is a poet’s musician. After graduating from Yale, the composer began working with poets and writing music for plays, which developed his flair for “setting words to music.”

Circumspect | March 6, 2015

Interview: Leila Adu

“I believe that music has the power of community and beauty.”

Extra Credit

Abolish ICE! – no, the other ICE. NYU Skirball is hosting the International Contemporary Ensemble, a long-running group that advocates for arts education, promotes new voices and protects its members from harassment with the We Have Voice Collective Code of Conduct – and who would like everyone to stop using this acronym to refer to them.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on the other hand, is separating families, holding children indefinitely in “detention centers,” and detaining people in inhumane and dangerous conditions.

In response, a network of activists is strategically protesting ICE in order to shut down daily operations, obstruct facilities, and prevent further atrocities. Learn more about the Never Again ActionMake the Road New York, Occupy ICE, and Rise & Resist.

Never Again is Now logo