Photo by Stephanie Berger

Ensemble Signal

“A new-music ensemble that by this point practically guarantees quality performances…”The New York Times

Ensemble Signal 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, Signal has performed over 350 concerts, premiered numerous works, and co-produced ten recordings.

Signal was founded by Co-Artistic/Executive Director Lauren Radnofsky and Co-Artistic Director/Conductor Brad Lubman. Described by the New York Times as "one of the most vital groups of its kind” and “A new-music ensemble that by this point practically guarantees quality performances,” 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.

The Ensemble has appeared at concert halls and international festivals including Lincoln Center Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, BIG EARS Festival, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center American Songbook, The Library of Congress, Washington Performing Arts, Cal Performances, Tanglewood Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Ojai Music Festival, the Guggenheim Museum (NY), NPR Tiny Desk Concerts and the Bang on a Can Marathon. They regularly work directly with nearly all the composers they perform in order to offer the most authentic interpretations, a list that includes Hans Abrahamsen, Unsuk Chin, Michael Gordon, Georg Friedrich Haas, Oliver Knussen, Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, Hilda Paredes, Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho and Julia Wolfe.

Recent highlights include the world premiere and 130 performances of Reich’s Reich/Richter for large ensemble, with artwork and film by Gerhard Richter for the inaugural season of New York’s multi-arts venue, The Shed (spring 2019), and the US premieres of Reich’s Runner at venues across the US (2017-18). Upcoming highlights in 2022 include the US premieres of music by Luca Francesconi and George Lewis, the world premiere of a new work by Darian Donovan Thomas, a concert of music curated by Julia Wolfe at Carnegie Hall, as well as workshop performances with the next generation of composers.

Among Signal’s recordings are Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, which 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 a CD & DVD of music by Lachenmann, with the composer as soloist in “…Zwei Gefühle…” (Mode) and Gordon/Lang/Wolfe’s Shelter (Cantaloupe).

Signal’s passion for the diverse range of music being written today is a driving force behind their projects. The Ensemble’s repertoire ranges from minimalism or pop-influenced to the iconoclastic European avant-garde. Signal’s projects are carefully conceived through close collaboration with cooperating presenting organizations, composers, and artists. Signal is flexible in size and instrumentation - everything from solo to large ensemble and opera, including film or multimedia, in any possible combination - enabling it to meet the ever-changing demands on the 21st century performing ensemble.

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Projects

“Those musicians (Ensemble Signal) can show and teach us that performing and listening to music — be it old or be it new — should become an existential adventure which might open our aesthetic and human horizon.”Helmut Lachenmann

Ensemble Signal builds tailor-made projects in collaboration with artists and organizations, bringing a diverse range of contemporary music to the broadest possible audience through performance, commissioning, recording and education. Signal has realized many performance and educational projects that are ideal for replication, and is firmly committed to building new projects that encompass a wide variety of musical styles, scopes, and sizes.

View complete past & current Signal projects here.

Performance Projects

Since Ensemble Signal’s inception in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 350 concerts ranging in size and scope, from solos to mixed contemporary ensemble, multimedia or video opera productions and live ensemble with film. From the beginning, a core focus of the Ensemble has been frequently working in detail with the composers whose works we play, in order to produce the most precise possible interpretations. Signal’s repertoire includes styles ranging from minimalism to the iconoclastic avant-garde, to classical. Ensemble Signal is flexible in size and instrumentation: we build projects consisting of solos to 55 players and more. Signal loves working with people to realize dream projects.

Steve Reich Projects

“Brad Lubman and Ensemble Signal have given many of the best performances of my music I have ever heard; having performed and worked with Signal since their very start, I know they are absolutely qualified to make this project a world-class first-rate success.”Steve Reich

Stephanie Berger

Ensemble Signal’s Steve Reich History

Steve Reich has been an essential pillar of Ensemble Signal since our first days, working closely with the ensemble to prepare numerous performances of his work. He even gave us our name: Signal. Through our close collaboration with Steve in performing and recording a significant body of his work for almost a decade, the artists of Ensemble Signal have become central members of the next generation of interpreters of his music. For Signal, Steve is not only a composer whose music we love, he is also a mentor and dearest of colleagues.

Signal strives to honor the traditions of performance and production practices established by both Steve Reich and his own ensemble since the 1970s. We also work to naturally bringing our unique next-generation perspective as an ensemble, which includes many young Americans who have grown up listening to Reich’s work as well as the music it influenced - from pop to classical. Additionally, Signal Music Director Brad Lubman brings with him over 20 years of experience at the forefront of Reich’s music, having recorded, performed and given the world premieres of numerous works by Reich internationally.

Signal’s experience with producing Reich’s music is extensive: Signal has in its core repertoire over 20 works by Reich, and has mounted nearly 30 events involving Reich’s work at venues ranging from Lincoln Center Festival and Carnegie Hall to BIG EARS; we’ve given over 150 performances of work by Reich, and released two Reich recordings on harmonia mundi, to widespread critical acclaim. Our performances of Reich have reached worldwide audiences through live streaming on medici.tv, and the number of times a track has been streamed from our recording of Music for 18 Musicians has reached over 2 million streams on Spotify.

Left: Stephanie Berger, Top Right: Ryan Jenkis, Bottom Right: Stephanie Berger

Signal’s Repertoire of Reich Works to Date

  • 1967 My Name Is *
  • 1967 Piano Phase
  • 1968 Pendulum Music
  • 1970 Four Organs
  • 1970-71 Drumming, Part 1
  • 1972 Clapping Music *
  • 1974-76 Music for 18 Musicians *
  • 1980 Tehillim *
  • 1983 Eight Lines *
  • 1984 Sextet *
  • 1985 New York Counterpoint
  • 1994 Nagoya Marimbas
  • 1998 Triple Quartet (version for string quartet and CD or all-live w/ 12 players) *
  • 2002 Three Tales *
  • 2003 Cello Counterpoint
  • 2006 Daniel Variations *
  • 2006 You Are (Variations) *
  • 2007 Double Sextet *
  • 2010 WTC 9/11 (version for string quartet and CD or all-live w/ 12 players) *
  • 2013 Radio Rewrite *
  • 2013 Quartet *
  • 2016 Runner *
  • 2016 Pulse *
  • 2019 Reich/Richter *

Educational Projects

Signal’s educational projects can include:

Community Outreach & Family Concerts

Educational outreach programs have taken place in locations ranging from a music program dedicated to providing free lessons to children from refugee and immigrant families, to a children’s workshop at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and an upstate New York retirement community.

Educational Side-by-side Concerts

Signal musicians rehearse and perform with students to play side-by-side with Signal musicians in an ensemble.

Educational Workshops

Signal personnel give Arts Leadership talks, and lead composer workshops of pieces by emerging or student composers.

Pre-concert Discussions

The Ensemble offers informative pre-concert discussions as well as Q&A sessions with artists and composers.

Events

Past events 2021 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

People

Lauren RadnofskyCo-Artistic/Executive Director

Erin LensingProject Management Assistant

Brad LubmanCo-Artistic Director/Music Director

ViolinLauren CauleyOlivia De PratoWill KnuthYuki Numata ResnickCourtney OrlandoChris OttoAri Streisfeld

ViolaCaleb BurhansIsabel HagenVictor LowrieJohn Pickford Richards

CelloKevin McFarlandLauren RadnofskyMariel Roberts

Bass Greg Chudzik

FluteKelli KathmanJessica Schmitz

OboeJacqueline LeclairChrista Robinson

ClarinetAdrián SandíKen Thomson

BassoonBrad Balliett

TrumpetMike Gurfield

TromboneSteven Parker

Piano/KeyboardDavid FriendOliver HagenLisa MooreNing Yu

PercussionMatt EvansAmy GarapicCarson MoodyDoug PerkinsBill Solomon

Cimbalom/PercussionNick Tolle

HarpNuiko Wadden

Sound DirectorPaul Coleman

Kristian BezuidenhoutPresident

Lauren DiGiulioSecretary

Tiffany ValvoTreasurer

Listen

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Contact

For all inquiries, please contact:
Lauren Radnofsky, Co-Artistic/Executive Director

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