"...the formal elegance of chamber music with a pop-honed concision and rhythmic vitality" - Time Out New York
"NOW... imports a catchy inflection to classical forms... Striking a balance between the old and the new has rarely sounded this good." -Newsweek
NOW Ensemble is a dynamic group of performers and composers dedicated to making new chamber music for the 21st century. With a unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano, the ensemble brings a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, infused with the musical influences that reflect the diverse backgrounds of its members.
NOW Ensemble has brought some of the most exciting composers of their generation to national and international recognition. In recent seasons, they have performed at Lincoln Center, the Apples and Olives Festival in Zurich, Switzerland, Town Hall Seattle, Da Camera Houston, and in Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series. From 2016-2018 they were the inaugural ensemble in residence at San Diego’s Art of Élan.
Highlights of the 2018-19 season include a major collaboration with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, premieres of new works by composers Sean Friar and Michi Wiancko, and the recording of NOW Ensemble's sixth album, due out by New Amsterdam Records in 2020. Collaborations and partnerships in 2018-19 include residencies at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge, Lawrence University, Ripon College, and Antenna Cloud Farm.
One of NOW Ensemble's main goals has been to create a musical paradigm in which continuous collaboration between composers and the performers is taken as a given. This philosophy has been put into practice in residencies at numerous institutions including Yale, Princeton, University of Virginia, and the New College of Florida. NOW Ensemble's performances have been featured on NPR's “All Things Considered” and live on WNYC, and its sophomore album “Awake” charted at #1 in Amazon's Classical Chamber Music Charts. “Plan of the City,” NOW's collaboration with film maker Joshua Frankel, was praised in the Washington Post as “one of the best matches of visuals to music I’ve seen.” Since 2004, NOW has worked with over 60 of today's most exciting composers, including Nico Muhly, Timothy Andres, Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, Kathryn Alexander, Jason Treuting, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Sean Friar. NOW has performed at such venues as Miller Theater, Merkin Hall, the Bang on a Can Marathon, The Kitchen NYC, The Stone, the Carlsbad Festival, the Festival International Chihuahua, the Look and Listen Festival, The Music Gallery Toronto, Sarasota's New Music New College, the Southern Exposure Series, Pittsburgh's Music on the Edge, Cal Arts, MIT, and Juilliard.
"The vibrant sound of NOW Ensemble... does something more than offer composers an alternative to the ubiquitous 'Pierrot ensembles plus singer or percussion.' It breathes the air of this planet: the musical air of indie rock, rap, jazz, pop, and minimalism variously synthesized by classically-trained composers and instrumentalists. Three of NOW's founding members are composers, and a community of 35 like-minded others have responded to the opportunities NOW embodies: to defy specialization, reject alienation, and inspire deft musicians to convey a sense of private amusement that enlivens the music they perform." - Jeffrey Edelstein, International Concert Review
M E M B E R S
PATRICK BURKE works as a composer and educator in Pittsburgh. He draws inspiration from his background as a classical pianist, an amateur rock and folk guitarist, and a performer in a gamelan ensemble. Formally tight, narrative structures are balanced with lyricism and expounded with a dream-like logic that is often inspired by film. Patrick was commissioned this year to compose a piece for Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, to be performed in February of 2014. Patrick has also been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, IonSound Project, and others. As a founding member of NOW Ensemble, Patrick contributed the title track to their second album, Awake, which was released last year on New Amsterdam Records, reaching the #2 position on Amazon’s classical album charts, and #1 on iTunes. Patrick’s music continues to be performed increasingly throughout North America by ensembles such as eighth blackbird, the Minnesota Orchestra, Present Music, Citywater Ensemble, and others. His recent music has been called “indie-classical at its finest” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), and “glittering fun…at once very sophisticated and instantly accessible” (Third Coast Digest). Patrick currently serves as Assistant Professor of Musicianship and Music Technology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Artist website here.
Bass player LOGAN COALE’s projects help illuminate paths forward for the tradition of art music and the importance of the conversation between art music and popular music. He is currently bass player for Natalie Merchant and is a member of contemporary classical music group NOW Ensemble. He has performed and toured with The National, Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner, Silk Road Ensemble, Abigail Washburn, Helado Negro, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Knights Chamber Orchestra, The Mark Morris Dance Group, A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, Wordless Music Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound. He has recorded commercially for David Lang, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Lisa Hannigan, The Lone Bellow, Mum, The National, Olga Bell, Sharon Van Etten, Local Natives, Joanna Newsom, Luluc, and Jonsi Sigursson of Sigur Ros, among others. He was a scholarship student of both Todd Seeber and Edwin Barker of the Boston Symphony, and a fellow at the Tanglewood and Schlesswig-Holstein Festivals. Logan grew up in Portland, Oregon, and currently lives in Brooklyn. Artist website here.
Artistic Director MARK DANCIGERS is a composer of music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and film, and is the electric guitarist for NOW Ensemble. Praised as "entrancing" and "rich in beguiling timbres" in the New York Times, his music has been performed by the Alabama, Minnesota, Cabrillo, Yale, Princeton, and New York Youth Symphony Orchestras, as well as numerous chamber groups and soloists.
As the Artistic Director and electric guitarist for NOW Ensemble, he has brought new music by some of the most exciting voices of his generation to both national and international recognition, as well as lead the group to engagements at the Apples and Olives Festival Zurich, Switzerland, the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series, The Sonic Festival at Miller Theater, Town Hall Seattle, Da Camera Houston, and many other venues. Mark graduated from Yale College, the Yale School of Music, and received his PhD from Princeton University. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the New College of Florida. Artist website here.
JUDD GREENSTEIN was born and raised in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, where he began his compositional life by writing hip hop beats as a teenager. His concert works reflect those origins, as well as his traditional piano background, combining an urban, beat-oriented sensibility with a late Romantic classical harmonic language. A passionate advocate for the indie classical community in New York, much of Judd’s work is written for the virtuosic ensembles and solo performers who make up that community, and is tailored to their specific talents and abilities. Judd has attracted attention through his close collaboration with many of the best young solo musicians in New York and beyond, including violist Nadia Sirota, yMusic, soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, percussionist Samuel Solomon, violinist Colin Jacobsen, pianists Michael Mizrahi and Blair McMillan, and flutist Alex Sopp. He has also received performances by and commissions from a wide array of ensembles around the country, including Present Music, the Seattle Chamber Players, the University of Texas at Austin New Music Ensemble, and the Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, as well as many prominent ensembles in New York, including Carnegie Hall, the Kaufman Center, Newspeak, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New Millennium Ensemble, the Knights, Sympho, and the New York Youth Symphony. Central to his output is his work for NOW Ensemble. Artist website here.
Born into a musical family, ALICIA LEE grew up in Michigan, where she began playing violin and piano at the age of 5 and eventually switched to clarinet at the age of 12.
She maintains a busy freelance career throughout New York City, performing regularly with a variety of groups, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Knights, and NOVUS, ACME, and Alarm Will Sound.She has performed at the Lucerne, Spoleto (Italy and US), Yellow Barn, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Marlboro, and Bay Chamber music festivals.
She is a founding member of Decoda, a New York City based chamber collective formed by the alumni of the Carnegie Hall Academy, Ensemble ACJW. Ms. Lee was formerly the associate principal and E-flat clarinet player of the Santa Barbara Symphony, a position she held for seven seasons. She also performed as solo bass clarinetist of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway during the 2013-14 season. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature from Columbia University, and pursued musical studies at The Juilliard School Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima as a part of the Columbia-Juilliard exchange program. She earned additional degrees from the University of Southern California and The Colburn School, where she was a student of Yehuda Gilad.
Pianist and Managing Director MICHAEL MIZRAHI has appeared as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teaching artist in major concert halls around the world. A first prize winner in several international competitions, he also performed for many years with the Moët Piano Trio. In addition to appearing as the pianist in NOW Ensemble, Mizrahi recently released The Bright Motion and Currents, two critically acclaimed albums of newly commissioned works for solo piano that Time Out Chicago described as being "packed with effervescent solo-piano selections and adroit performances."
Mr. Mizrahi is also a member of Decoda, a chamber ensemble comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts. Based in New York City, Decoda creates innovative performances and engaging projects with partners around the world. Mizrahi teaches each summer at the prestigious Decoda Skidmore Chamber Music Institute. Mizrahi has worked to foster a partnership between Decoda and Lawrence University, and in 2014 helped to found the Music For All project that brings classical chamber music to children and populations who ordinarily do not participate. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and religion from the University of Virginia and a doctoral degree in piano performance from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Claude Frank. He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Artist website here.
ALEX SOPP is a musician and artist living in Brooklyn. As the flutist of yMusic, The Knights, and NOW Ensemble, the New York Times has praised her playing as “exquisite” and “beautifully nuanced." Comfortable in many genres, Alex has commissioned, premiered, and recorded with some of the most exciting composers and songwriters of our time, including Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Ben Folds, Jonsí of Sigur Ros, Paul Simon, Gabriel Kahane, St. Vincent, Judd Greenstein, My Brightest Diamond, The Dirty Projectors, and The National. A sought-after soloist, Alex made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony, and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of David Robertson. In addition to her three main musical families, she plays as a guest with the International Comtemporary Ensemble (ICE), and has made appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Duetsche Kammerphilarmonie Bremen, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
In addition to playing the flute, Alex is a singer and a painter. Most recently, she has appeared as a multi-disciplinary performer and singer in theater director John Tiffany’s production of “The Ambassador,” a staged music theater piece with original songs by Gabriel Kahane. Her voice can also be heard on several albums, including the forthcoming yMusic + Ben Folds collaboration, “So There”. Alex’s paintings grace the covers of records by such artists as Ben Folds and The Knights, and can be seen in private collections.
Alex grew up in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. She completed both her Bachelors and Masters degrees at The Juilliard School.
Electric Guitar Concerto (2006)
Not Yet (2009)
Night Jaunt (2006)
Assemblage of Gears (2007)
A Song of Roland
Six for Seven (2006)
The Green Machine (2009)
Michael Jackson (2006)
all together now (2004)
External Forces (2005)
Rounder Song No. 1 (2010)
Shuffle Songs (2008)
Waiting in the Rain for Snow (2007)
Hanging There (2004)
Other People’s Love Songs (2008)
When A Meets B (2009)
Winter Solstice (2006)
Velvet Hammer (2009)
Rock Me Samuels (2004)
Folk Music (2004)
Free Speech Zone (2005)
Sing Along (2006)
To The Royal Mountain (2007)
Change Part One (2008)
City Boy (2010)
Child of Noble Family (2005)
Apology to Younger Americans (2005)
JR East (2006)
Trapped Arc (2009)
Night Train to Chuncheon (2013)
Untitled One (2006)
Run From Fear (2007)
And all my senses suspended (2007)
Lee, Andrew McKenna
Little, David T
Variations on Narcissus (2006)
Parispea Dream (2009)
Trust Fall (2008)
Shy Girl Shouting Music (2005)
Magic With Everyday Objects (2007)
Song from the Uproar (2009, 2011)
Synthetic Night (2006)
I Am Not A Shadow (2010)
How About Now (2006)
Nice Boots (2008)
Tippy Toe (2009)
Groove Tendency (2006)
The Whisper Gallery (2009)
13 spliced scenes of disaster, delight, and depair (2007)
Les Moutons de Panurge (1968)
Coming Together (1973)
-still in here- (2006)
Sarah Kirkland Snider
Pale as Centuries (2012)
Spare the Rod (2015)
The Tide is in Our Veins (2015)
Quiet Songs (2006)
Divine the Rest (2013)
Electric Breakdown (2008)
Spark in the Dark (2009)
Galesburg, IL (Where are the Trees?)
Transatlantic Flight of Fancy (2013)
Efflorescentric Rave (2006)