“A new-music ensemble that by this point practically guarantees quality performances…”The New York Times
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 300 concerts, has given the NY, world, or US premieres of over 20 works, and co-produced ten 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 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.
The Ensemble is a frequent guest of the finest 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), the Wordless Music Series, 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 Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Oliver Knussen and Hans Abrahamsen.
Throughout 2017-18, they gave the US premieres of a new work for 19 musicians by Steve Reich entitled Runner at venues across the US. In Spring 2019 Signal performed the world premiere and over 100 performances of a new work for large ensemble by Steve Reich in collaboration with artwork and film by Gerhard Richter at the inaugural season of New York’s new multi-arts venue, The Shed. 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 a CD & DVD of music by Lachenmann, with the composer as soloist in “…Zwei Gefühle…” (Mode) and Steve Reich’s Double Sextet & Radio Rewrite (harmonia mundi). Signal’s educational activities include community outreach programs in diverse settings as well as workshops with the next generation of composers and performers.
“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.
Since Ensemble Signal’s inception in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 300 concerts ranging in size and scope, from solos to mixed contemporary ensemble, multimedia or video opera productions and live ensemble with film. Ensemble Signal is flexible in size and instrumentation: we build projects consisting of solos to 55 players and more.
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 — among them Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Hilda Paredes, Georg Friedrich Haas, Tristan Perich and Hans Abrahamsen.
Signal’s repertoire includes styles ranging from minimalism to the iconoclastic avant-garde, to classical. The Ensemble has performed projects including the music of Ornette Coleman, or J.S. Bach paired with living composers, as well as numerous collaborations with contemporary luminaries such as Irvine Arditti and Kristian Bezuidenhout.
Steve Reich Projects
“Ensemble Signal is proposing a comprehensive project of concerts, recordings, video, live streaming and education about my music. 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
Ensemble Signal’s Steve Reich History and Vision for the Future
Understanding the immeasurable reach of Reich’s music, Ensemble Signal announces our long-term, multi-year commitment to make our projects of Reich’s music accessible to the broadest possible worldwide audience. With this initiative, we aim to build our impact by reaching new and vast audiences using all of the technology and methods available in the twenty-first century, physically reaching new geographical locations, working with new institutions, and expanding already existing relationships to realize new projects. The performances and documentation we make available will reach a global audience and serve as an educational tool for generations to come. We will carry out this vision through five core approaches: performing, audio recordings, education, on demand video, and live streaming. Our performance projects may include any work by Reich; educational projects include coaching or side-by-side performances of any work by Reich, and community outreach programs. Over the coming years, we intend to move Ensemble Signal toward a fuller realization of this vision.
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.
…our long-term goal is to bring as many works by Reich as possible to the broadest possible worldwide audience.
“Like all great music, you can return to Reich’s greatest pieces time and time again, always making new discoveries and having new perceptions. The musicians of Ensemble Signal and I are very fortunate and thankful to have had — and to continue to have — many wonderful musical experiences with Steve Reich and his music. Most importantly, we are always thrilled to be able to share these experiences with our audiences.”Brad Lubman, Co-Artistic Director, Ensemble Signal
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 *
Signal’s educational projects include:
Community Outreach & Family Concerts
Recent 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.
Signal personnel give Arts Leadership talks, and lead composer workshops of pieces by emerging or student composers.
The Ensemble offers informative pre-concert discussions as well as Q&A sessions with artists and composers.
Oliver Knussen: Songs Without Voices (1992)
Luca Francesconi: Trauma Etudes (2018) WORLD PREMIERE, Library of Congress Commission
Arnold Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire (1912 )
Brad Lubman, Conductor
Rachel Calloway, Mezzo-Soprano
Steve Reich: New Work (2019) - WORLD PREMIERE
Performed alongside artwork and video by Gerhard Richter, as part of The Shed’s REICH RICHTER PÄRT project.
Brad Lubman, Conductor
Paul Coleman, Sound Director
David Felder: Jeu de Tarot (2017)
Performed by Ensemble Signal with Brad Lubman, Conductor & Irvine Arditti, Violin Soloist
David Felder: Complete String Quartets
Performed by the Arditti Quartet
Brad Lubman, Conductor
Irvine Arditti, Violin
Workshop Performance of compositions by June in Buffalo Festival Student composers:
Hua Xin: Moon is a Distant Bear
Kyle Wernke: Trio
William David Cooper: Diptych (2018) rev. 2019
Vasiliki Krimitza: Gra-V (2017)
Jerry Hou, Conductor
Works by Buffalo Faculty Composers:
Anna Clyne: Just as They Are (2015)
Lei Liang: Aural Hypothesis (2010)
Rolf Wallin: The Age of Wire and String (2005)
Jerry Hou, Conductor
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (1974-76)
Brad Lubman, Music Director
Part of New Sounds Live, an annual music series curated and hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer. Performance starts with John Schaefer in conversation with Steve Reich.
My Name Is (1967)
Piano Phase (1967)
Four Organs (1970)
New York Counterpoint (1985)
Part of New Sounds Live, an annual music series curated and hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer.
Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and The Wolf (1936)
Isaac Mizrahi, Narrator, Director, Stage & Costume Design
Oliver Hagen, Conductor (Dec 7-9)
Brad Lubman, Conductor (Dec 13-15)
John Heginbotham, choreography
Lauren RadnofskyCo-Artistic/Executive Director
Brad LubmanCo-Artistic Director/Music Director
Peter KalalDevelopment Associate
Erin LensingAdministrative Associate
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
Piano/KeyboardDavid FriendOliver HagenLisa MooreNing Yu
PercussionMatt EvansAmy GarapicCarson MoodyDoug PerkinsBill Solomon
Sound DirectorPaul Coleman
Support & Donate
Ensemble Signal is a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on contributors like you! In order to sustain our programs, financial and in-kind donations from supporters who also believe in our goals are essential. Thank you so much for your consideration!
Any size financial contribution will allow us to continue our mission of offering the broadest possible audience accessibility to a diverse range of music through performance, education, commissioning, and recording. All financial contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
In addition to our own team of volunteers, Signal has a growing base of professionals who provide in-kind services. These great folks' services directly contribute to making our programs possible. We'd love to hear from you if you might like to learn more about getting involved as a volunteer!
Ensemble Signal thanks the foundations, organizations, and individuals supporting our current operations or programs with their most appreciated financial and in-kind contributions, including lead support from:
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Joan Margot Smith
For all inquiries, please contact:
Lauren Radnofsky, Co-Artistic/Executive Director
Hear from Us
You can get news and event announcements by signing up for our email newsletter: