A volume of new collaborations has been launched by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in tandem with OpenICE—a far-reaching initiative to build diverse new audiences internationally. During the next 18 months, ICE will commission and premiere a new body of repertoire from a diverse group of composers to be presented in free performances around the globe — in venues ranging from the world’s major concert halls to outdoor urban amphitheaters to small community centers and public libraries, in addition to being made available in the ensemble’s digital concert hall, DigitICE. Through this initiative, Polish composer Wojtek Blecharz‘s work will continue his exploration of the extreme physicality of extended techniques.
In 2015, ICE officially launched OpenICE, a new initiative to build audiences through free access to concerts. During the OpenICE launch year, ICE will present 35 concerts free and open to the public in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Brazil, and Greenland. By 2018, the initiative aims to reach one million listeners per year.
At its core, OpenICE is inspired by the quintessentially American institution of the public library, with its enduring commitment to the social value of public access to knowledge. Similar to our libraries, which serve people of different backgrounds and levels of education, OpenICE programming will serve our current audience while providing multiple entry points for new listeners, fulfilling our belief that we are responsible to make our best work available to all.
The new works will premiere on various OpenICE concerts in 2015-16 and represent the beginning of a new canon of chamber works for OpenICE, which will be further promoted via multiple performances and recordings on TUNDRA, ICE’s record label.