Ensemble Signal, described by the New York Times as “one of the most vital groups of its kind,” is a NY-based ensemble dedicated to offering the broadest possible audience access to a diverse range of contemporary works through performance, commissioning, recording, and education. Since its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 140 concerts, has given the NY, world, or US premieres of over 20 works, and co-produced eight recordings.
Signal was founded by Co-Artistic/Executive Director Lauren Radnofsky and Co-Artistic Director/Conductor Brad Lubman. Called a “new music dream team” (TimeOutNY), Signal regularly performs with Lubman and features a supergroup of independent artists from the modern music scene. Lubman, one of the foremost conductors of modern music and a leading figure in the field for over two decades, is a frequent guest with the world’s most distinguished orchestras and new music ensembles.
Signal’s passion for the diverse range of music being written today is a driving force behind their fearlessly adventurous projects. Signal has been particularly noted for performing in the round, thereby engaging the public in the unique communal experience of hearing rarely performed works extremely up close. The Ensemble’s repertoire ranges from minimalism or pop-influenced to the iconoclastic European avant-garde. Signal’s projects are conceived through close collaboration with cooperating presenting organizations, composers, and artists. Signal is flexible in size and instrumentation - everything from solo to large contemporary ensemble in any possible combination - enabling it to meet the ever-changing demands on the 21st century performing ensemble.
At home in concert halls, clubs, and international festivals alike, Signal has performed at Lincoln Center Festival, Walt Disney Concert Hall, BIG EARS Festival, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Tanglewood Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Ojai Music Festival, Miller Theatre, (le) Poisson Rouge, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Wordless Music Series, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. They have worked directly with nearly all the composers they perform in order to offer the most authentic interpretations, a list that has included Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Oliver Knussen, Hilda Paredes, and Charles Wuorinen. Other notable collaborations include those with violinist Irvine Arditti and with longtime Philip Glass Ensemble Music Director and producer Michael Riesman, who has joined Signal as piano soloist, and produced four of their recordings.
Recent highlights have included the performance of Steve Reich’s video opera Three Tales, as well as David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe’s video opera Shelter, on the LA Philharmonic’s series at Walt Disney Concert Hall in May 2015, a headliner performance of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Radio Rewrite at the 2014 BIG EARS Festival in Knoxville, TN, and performing in the 2013 Lincoln Center Festival’s production of Monkey: Journey to The West, with music by Damon Albarn, directed by Chen Shi-Zheng. Upcoming highlights include the co-commission of a new work for large ensemble by Steve Reich, to be premiered in 2016-17.
Signal’s recording of Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians was released in May 2015 on harmonia mundi and received a Diapason d’or and appeared on the Billboard Classical Crossover Charts. Additional recordings include Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe’s Shelter (Cantaloupe); a CD & DVD of music by Lachenmann, with the composer as soloist in “...Zwei Gefühle...” (Mode); and Philip Glass's Glassworks and Music in Similar Motion (Orange Mountain).
Signal’s educational activities include workshops with the next generation of composers and performers at institutions including the Eastman School of Music, and the June in Buffalo Festival at the University at Buffalo’s Center for 21st Century Music where they are a resident ensemble. Additionally, their performances frequently feature informative discussions with composers.